Warming stripes: from Reading FC’s football kit to Greta Thunberg’s book cover design, this data visualization graphics are all the rage
Another Friday, another design that alerts about the ongoing, human-made climate crisis extinction threat we face enter Reading FC’s official home strip for 2022-23.
The football kit design incorporates the University of Reading’s “climate stripes” infographic as part of Reading FC’s “new, progressive partnership” with the educational institution.
Per the club, the design hopefully “will help start conversations around the climate crisis and ultimately inspire action.”
“We can’t do everything, but we can’t do nothing. And by incorporating the university’s ‘climate stripes’ infographic into the design of our new home shirt, we hope to help visually demonstrate to our supporters how temperatures have risen over a long period of time in Reading” notes Reading FC.
The bold stripe design, featured on the sleeves of the new home shirt, was first created by the University of Reading’s Professor Ed Hawkins in 2018.
Each stripe represents the average temperature for a single year, relative to the average temperature over the period as a whole; shades of blue indicate cooler-than-average years, while red shows years that were hotter than average. Therefore, the stripes on the Reading FC home shirt “specifically track climate change in Reading across the full 151-year existence of Reading Football Club.”
Made from Eco-Fabric — 100% of which comes from recycled plastic bottles — the kit itself remains completely recyclable and in other design elements we see “the club crest returns after last season’s 150th-anniversary branding, the shorts are predominantly white but also carry the colorful climate stripes down the side, while the socks are all blue. But this season’s kit is less about the cut, the collar, or colors and more about the message!”
The climate stripes have recently been featured at London Fashion Week, this summer’s Glastonbury event and they are also the main design element that decorates the front cover of a new book titled “The Climate Book” written by activist Greta Thunberg.
Designed by data designer, author, and artist Stefanie Posavec and published by Penguin Random House UK the book features over 100 contributions from top climate experts alongside Thunberg herself.
“It was a huge undertaking to design this 464(!)-page, super-comprehensive guide to combat climate disaster: the biggest book I’ve ever designed!” wrote Posavec of the project. “Sonja Kuijpers designed the charts, Jim Stoddart designed the cover, and there was additional artworking and typesetting from the top design team at Penguin” she added.
Last year, the warming stripes data visualization graphics were the inspiration for the “Climate Canopy” science-art installation exhibited for world leaders at the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow created by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and Leeds-based artist Alison Smith.
Formed from colored stripes of light which represent 170 years of global temperature data, the installation reminded “the reality of climate change that, quite literally, hangs above world leaders, as they work to build a greener future.”
“As delegates move under the sculpture, the lights transition from blue to red, and the fringed panels become longer, reflecting the growing impacts of climate change in virtually every region worldwide” explains the team.
“Artists are storytellers, and by collaborating with scientists, we can translate the stories and messages within research and data,” said Alison Smith, an artist, educator and maker of light installations known for her sustainable approach to art. “Pieces like Climate Canopy present complicated environmental issues in physical forms, and allow people to see climate change from a different perspective, and through a memorable, in-person experience” she added.
Smith and her team created Climate Canopy using low-energy products and recycled materials, such as plastic packaging and textile offcuts that would usually be considered waste, promoting the idea of restoring balance between man-made things and the natural world.
“The climate stripes are intended to start conversations about climate change - and making them visible to thousands of football fans across the country every week brings that to a new audience” Professor Ed Hawkins said on the occasion of Reading FC’s latest football kit design.
“Support is a powerful thing in football and this collaboration makes it a key theme for the season. We hope Reading Football Club’s fans will push them on to success this season, while at the same time the players and the club will be supporting climate action and recognising the science” he added.
“Last week we all endured the hottest day on record in Reading and that heatwave aptly underlines how vital it is to spark a conversation about climate change and environmental sustainability” said Tim Kilpatrick, Head of Commercial at Reading Football Club.
“We are not perfect, but this is the start of a journey. We will not aim to change the world overnight. But we want to aim to reduce our carbon footprint as a football club and give our fans the opportunity to come with us on the same journey. Featuring the climate stripes in the design of our home kit is one way we hope to inspire more climate conversations amongst our supporters and our local community.”
Climate change is now recognised as one of the biggest challenges facing society, threatening our air, our water, our food, and where we live.
Nations will be under pressure to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and UN Convention on Climate Change, and clearly plan how to limit greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.
Yet, after a “disappointing” COP27, calls grow for new approach to fighting climate change reports Reuters.
Read more about the Reading Football Club partnership with the University of Reading which will guide the club into a more environmentally aware and sustainable future here.