Sport Design Australia Creative Spotlight: Jordan Purcell

April 12, 2023
6 mins
Sport Design Australia Creative Spotlight: Jordan Purcell

The Beautiful Game is looking better and better by the day Down Under.

From the Socceroos’ World Cup performance, to Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic heroics and the Matildas’ rise to global prominence, Australian football has soared to new heights over the past 12 months.

In the content space, a new wave of football creatives are kicking goals left, right and centre, too.

Look no further than A-Leagues graphic designer Jordan Purcell, who is following in the footsteps of Garang Kuol and Riley McGree to make his mark both locally and abroad.

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After bouncing through the branches of media in his early professional years, Jordan hit the ground running as a graphic designer and has never looked back. His successful freelance project, Purcell Creative, led him to creating for overseas brands, and then being headhunted for a full-time role with Central Coast Mariners.

Jordan has since landed at the A-Leagues, where he is driving some of the best graphic design work Australian Football has seen.

“Bringing Australian football back to the forefront of the sporting landscape and engaging fans in The Beautiful Game is something I am so privileged to be a part of,” Jordan said.

In his eight months with the A-Leagues, he has been afforded the freedom to flex his creative muscles.

A-Leagues Director of Content, David Weiner praised Jordan’s work and his role in growing football in Australia in a post-COVID world.

“Jordan has taken our social media storytelling to another level with his design work,” David said.

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“The ability to take any theme, narrative, promotion or campaign and make it engaging, on-brand, and something that our fans will want to share… Jordan’s work has made such an impact.

“The A-Leagues has been on a mission to improve its content strategy post three difficult COVID-impacted seasons, and Jordan has ensured we are driving top-class quality in all our work.”

David highlighted his two favourite artworks from Jordan’s time with the A-Leagues – two contrasting pieces that convey different emotions and themes, and highlight Jordan’s versatility and ability.

“The ‘Where Socceroos are made’ graphic was a creative off the back of the World Cup and was not just fabulous content that was celebrated on our feed, but cut across into a key marketing message ahead of the players’ return to the domestic competition.

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“In one brilliant creative, Jordan summed up something so many of our fans are so proud of about our league and have been shouting about for years!

“The second is a promo poster for an episode of our weekly docuseries which, with class, grace and respect, promoted a heart-wrenching episode about Ulises Davila, Macarthur’s captain who lost his wife in the off season.

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“They show Jordan’s ability to both celebrate and work under pressure with topics that are complex, emotional and sensitive!”

Follow Purcell Creative on Instagram.

Such responsibility and creative control can prove daunting for young graphic designers, but not for Jordan. Although the storytelling and ideation components of graphic design come with great pressure, he describes it as his favourite aspect of the craft.

“With design, what I love most happens to be one of the biggest challenges: the creative process,” he said.

“Building something from scratch all the way to a completed product; being able to convey a message or meaning to another person through design is something I find extremely rewarding.

“In the same token, it is something that brings with it a lot of weight; the age-old idea of trying to ‘please everyone’ in such a subjective form is really difficult, if not impossible.”

To Jordan’s delight, he finds himself in a position where he can continue to challenge himself creatively working for the A-Leagues. The organisation recognises digital as one of its key areas of growth for the future as it continues to expand its content department.

This has been the impetus for creative projects headlined by ‘A-Leagues All Access’, a groundbreaking, ongoing docuseries which tells the stories of the characters of football in Australia.

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“The content team at A-Leagues which is still expanding, has massive plans for the next 12 months,” Jordan said.

“With the A-Leagues Finals Series, league records being broken left, right and centre, in amongst the human stories of these incredibly talented footballers, we aren’t short of inspiration. The team is always looking to innovate and push the barriers to bring football back to the top where it belongs.

“The A-Leagues All Access docuseries, bringing fans closer than ever to the league, is something that has done exceptionally well this season, and something we are looking at improving moving into the future.”

On a personal note, Jordan also has grand plans for the future.

He has already broken into the NBA with Detroit Pistons as their first international freelance designer, and contributed graphics for football abroad with Hibernian (Scottish Premiership) and Wycombe Wanderers (EFL), but he is aiming to go one step further.

“I would absolutely love to finish this year by saying I have created for an English Premier League club,” Jordan said.

“It is something I have always thought of once I was able to break into the #smsports industry. But this year, I feel like I can really push myself and it is finally a realistic goal; obviously still difficult, but you have to shoot for the stars, right?”

Now an established member of the creative industry with an impressive resume, Jordan has his sights set on giving back.

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Aligned with the ethos of Sport Design Australia, he is eager to provide a platform for budding creatives to find their way and help grow the community of sports creatives.

“I am really passionate about providing a platform for other young designers to get into the #smsports industry,” Jordan said.

“I want to be able to provide via the A-Leagues a platform for young creatives to showcase what they can do… I think it is vital for the industry to continue the current trend of young creatives and alike pushing to break into the industry.”

As for how to find a way into the #smsports world, Jordan asserted the importance of constantly creating, sharing and networking.

“Really immerse yourself in the area you want to follow,” he said.

“Create yourself a freelance presence, whether that is a paid venture looking for clients, or if it is simply somewhere to put all the personal work you are creating. Being able to build an identity in the industry, and network with other creatives is a great way to get your name out there, but also learn the fundamentals of the space.

“My freelance venture took me around the world from the comfort of my computer chair; and I would not be where I am now without it.”

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