CAF Play Now gif CAF Play Now gif

Encouraging the next generation.

It’s not everyday you get asked to create something that has the power to change millions of lives. CAF came to us with the task of branding their new future star: a grassroots, Pan-African school programme that would get kids into schools and onto the football field. 

It wasn’t going to be an open goal. The first of its kind, our biggest challenge was to encourage participation from each and every country across the continent, at a governmental, regional and community level. We needed to be smart with our game-plan and playful with our approach.

CAF African Schools Programme Logo

Clarifying complexity.

The African Schools Programme is CAF’s most ambitious school-age initiative. Open to both boys and girls, it’s an equal-opportunity programme that has a complex implementation across three tiers: regional, national, and continental.   

To solve this hurdle, we created a clarifying naming structure to match its scope and encourage uptake. Further harmonising the brand, we then developed a unique ‘A’ for Africa that would capture the essence of football. It acts as a common visual thread across the brand; a thread that would tie together all the participant nations, schools, and students.

The result? Clarity across the board. 

41 out of 54 countries

signed up to the programme in its inaugural year.

A play(ful) proposition.

With the programme naming structure bolted down, we needed to develop a proposition that would excite and energise young Africans from a myriad of countries, cultures and contexts. 

Play Now captures a sense of joy, energy, and action. It’s also a rallying cry to the young people of Africa to find personal growth and a better future through the game of football. A proposition that flexes across all aspects of the programme – Play Now as a Referee, Play Now as a School – it’s an invitation to discover the rewards of playing football no matter where you’re from or who you are. 

CAF Logo design process

Making our mark.

To bring both joy and context to the brand, we got playful– not with a football, but some paper and paint.

Pan-African and grassroots, this brand needed to be flexible, relatable, and anything but cliché. We designed a bespoke typeface which mimics the texture of pitch markings. It was then extended into our inspired brand expressions, bringing to life the pace and precision of the players and paying homage to the game at every last touchpoint.


An iconic symbol.

Football is at the heart of the programme, so we put it into the heart of the identity. But we wanted to take it further, turning the ‘A’ into a unique symbolic pattern.  

The ‘A’ pattern represents a winning goal, and when rotated, a crowd of celebrating fans: the ball becomes the head, the posts arms. It’s a symbol that calls for the collective celebration of young Africans and their achievements. 

CAF The game background

On and off the pitch.

This brand doesn’t just live on the football field, it comes to life in the everyday. Our challenge was to create a brand that has a fresh look and feel to attract a teen audience. 

Representation in photography was paramount in this, allowing the young participants to see themselves in the brand, whilst the merchandise was designed to be picked up, shared, used and worn proudly. You’re part of the Play Now team, and everyone knows it. 

CAF outdoor posters
CAF waterbottle and ball
CAF Social media content

30,000 game balls

distributed to schools across Africa.

A unified voice

From the kick off, this project was about reaffirming the positive benefits of CAF’s unifying programme. 

Our dual French and English tagline spreads the good word far: Engage, Encourage, Educate. It’s an imperative and inspiring message that encapsulates the power and purpose of the programme.

We made sure to bring it to life in harmony with the overall look and feel so that it resonates with a powerful voice across our full brand toolkit. 

CAF Pitch side flags