COPA90 caught up with EA SPORTS Volta Football kit designer, Scott McRoy. We talk design inspirations, kit collaborations, and playing FIFA20.
Hi Scott, thanks for chatting to COPA90. First things first, what’s your background? How did you get into graphic design?
I’m not really sure how I truly got into it, it was sort of during secondary school, then through college before studying it at university. My true skillset is probably in print design as I used to work for a magazine, and then into my first full-time role which was at Pro Direct Soccer (we used to do a lot of print catalogues).
The illustration side of things developed later on, and now it’s the main part of my freelance life, although I do still produce the odd piece of print here and there.
What big things have you done in your career to date? Anything you’re most proud of?
A big thing for me was being able to work for Liverpool FC, the team I've supported all my life. In terms of seeing something in the flesh, the most impressive piece of commercial work may just be the BT Sport Champions League Final mural in Cardiff for their ‘goals recreated’ stand.
I knew it was going to be big, but I didn't quite know it was going to be that big… it was amazing seeing it first hand too.
How important is football in general to you?
It’s a massive part of my life – I still play eleven-a-side. My team, Dartmouth AFC, just got promoted to step seven of the FA Pyramid, so I’ve been playing competitively twice a week, and for the past 10 years or so, it's kept a roof over my head. So when people say 'football is my life', in my case it kinda rings true!
How did you feel when EA SPORTS approached you to design the Volta Football kits?
It’s a bit of a longer story, really. So I did a handful of kits for in game last year, which was a very proud moment for me – growing up playing the game and now designing stuff which features in it is obviously pretty cool.
EA liked what I did so I got the call-up to produce some kits this year. Within that original batch it was just the London kit for the Volta activation, but when the guys from EA saw it, they asked if I could do the other 15 kits, which was obviously great news but a lot of work too. I’m really happy with how they turned out, though.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your kit designs?
The initial direction from the team was that each kit didn’t necessarily have to be in line with the real life kits, and to explore other options whilst maintaining a balanced overall selection to avoid kit clashes.
When approaching each city, there was three main areas I looked at for inspiration – landmarks, colours and patterns, and old kits (the latter being my favourite!)
The Oslo kit is actually a take on the 1997 Norway away kit, while Tokyo is based on the neon signs and bright lights that are normally associated with the city. For Italy, I went with the Versace based pattern while bringing in some azzuri blue to make the connection to the national team.
Do you have a favourite kit design?
My favourite is probably Rio. It actually came with a more defined brief from the team in terms of the colours to use etc, but I added in a wavy pattern which can be found on Ipanema Beach, and a tropical pattern to go across the torso to link it to the famous Rio carnival.
It was nice to see the Rio team actually win the tournament at the FIFA20 launch party too – they had the futsal legend Falcao with them, although I’m not sure if he played (would be a bit unfair on the rest if he did!)
With the recent success of Air Jordan and PSG, kit collabs are on the rise. What are your thoughts on kit collaborations?
On an aesthetic level, I thought they looked really cool. The campaign was well executed and built up hype well! I love the idea of collaborations if they are done in the right spirit, rather than just for flat out commercial gain.
There were some really cool soccer/fashion collabs in the same vein which i really like – The Palace x Adidas, and the Palace x Umbro, for example.
I actually run a little project called Killavilla, which is soccer shirts inspired by hip hop culture. Look out for a collab with a soccer brand coming from us in the near future (shameless plug).
Finally, what do you make of the new FIFA20 game? Have you had a chance to play it yet?
Yeah, I managed to get it a week or so early, so I’ve played a fair bit of Ultimate Team – in between work and looking after my 5-month-old child!
I only really play Ultimate Team, but the addition of the new match types in friendlies is really fun to play, like mystery ball and king of the hill. I've tried the new Volta game mode, but it takes a little while to get used to all the skill moves!