Creator Series introduces the individuals who are using their inspiration and talent to push football culture forward.
Cody McCullough is a creative director, designer and photographer based in Ontario who's Disguise Studio (a partnership with Matthew Stith) is working with adidas among others.
What is exciting you in soccer culture right now?
I think the parallels between soccer and fashion, that all brands are leveraging right now, make things super exciting.
I absolutely love kit design and think that all the major brands are putting out some of their best kits right now. Not only do they look dope on the pitch but they also have wearability off the pitch.
Which sports brands do you think are the most relevant in that culture?
Of course, adidas and Nike will always be top class. I think the adidas #HereToCreate campaign has really changed the way soccer companies involve different creatives in their releases, products and marketing.
Nike is always dropping game-changing stuff like the Nigeria kit that is constantly elevating the creativity behind different products.
I think some of the smaller brands like Inaria here in Canada deserve some recognition as well. They’re doing some really special work and collaborating with some talented creatives like Geoff Gouveia.
How does soccer culture in Canada differ from over in the U.S.?
Things are growing super quickly from a cultural stand point here in Canada. While our country has always sort of had the ‘melting-pot’ identity that might be hard to unify in other instances, I think it works perfectly from a soccer perspective.
With so many different cultures and nationalities here, you really get to see the reach soccer has and can see how easily it can unite people. I was in Toronto when Portugal won the Euros and after the match there were so many Portuguese flags in the street I could have sworn I was in Lisbon.
I think the biggest contrast is that the support for the U.S National Team is almost nation-wide in the States where as it seems like in Canada the Canadian National Team almost comes second behind whichever national team fans are tied to by their ancestry. This could be a direct correlation due to the lack of success we’ve had, but we’ll see going forward.
What got you first interested in soccer as a creative person?
I think it initially started way back playing games like Pro Evo 6 and being constantly fascinated with the kits and badges of clubs that I hadn’t ever heard of or clubs that didn’t actually exist in real life. This sort of led me to create my own concepts and identities.
Fast forward years later and my work as a graphic designer allowed me to actually take this to the next level. I’ve known I always wanted to work in sport in some capacity and soccer makes the most sense because its colourfulness and it’s global reach.
What are you working on?
I’ve been working on some kits and badges for another Tango event coming up in Toronto. These are always fun projects to work on because adidas are always super open to ideas and allow me a ton of creative control.
There are also a couple other projects that I’m working on that are related to the new Canadian Premier League but I can’t say too much about those. I’m also working on Disguise FC which is still super new but will be a clothing line + blog.
I’ve recently launched Disguise Studio with a good friend, Matthew Stith, that we hope to create some cool work under. We’re using it as a platform to unify our design and photo work to make things more cohesive going forward.
Plans for the World Cup?
As of right now, nothing crazy. The last six months have been sort of a whirlwind with different projects that I haven’t really had the chance to explore options in terms of work over in Russia. The tournament is slowly creeping up but I’m optimistic that something will pop up in the coming months.