Past Exhibition

Football: Designing the Beautiful Game

Whether you are a fanatical fan, side-line supporter or sporting sceptic, visitors to this exhibition will enjoy discovering the remarkable design stories behind the world's beautiful game.


★★★★ Evening Standard

★★★★ The Telegraph

★★★★ The Times

Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait – in the exhibition, watch the remarkable 91 minutes long film by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parenno portraying player Zinedine Zidane over the course of a single match

Gilgit-Baltistan Girls Football League, the first ever league for girls in the North of Pakistan, 2019, Sumaira Inayat/Goal Click

Forest Green Rovers Stadium interior, 2016, Render by, Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Brooke Hendrix and Anna Moorhouse, 2019, Brianna Visalli/Goal Click

George Best's first pair of football boots, exhibition photography by Felix Speller

Exhibition photography by Felix Speller

Exhibition photography by Felix Speller

Over 70s women’s team The Sockers during the Las Vegas Friendship Cup in USA, 2021, Judi Works And Shannon Siegel/Goal Click

Exhibition photography by Felix Speller

Juergen Teller's Siegerflieger photography series featuring his family watching the German national team perform on television during the World Cup

Destiny Delivered banner by Peter Carney and Carmel Gittens, 2005 – 2007. Photo by Felix Speller

What to expect

The exhibition explores the story behind football, unpicking how design has been used to push the game to new limits. Take a journey through over 500 objects, films and interviews in sporting performance, kit development, and stadium design and immerse yourself in the stories of club legacies and game legends including Messi, Pelé, George Best and Diego Maradona.

Produced in partnership with the National Football Museum in Manchester, the show reveals the master-planning of the world’s most significant football stadiums, the design innovation used in today’s boots, how the graphic design of team badges, kits and posters shape a club's identity and how grassroots initiatives are pushing back against the sport’s commercialisation.

As the world’s most popular sport, football has a truly international dedicated fan base. It is estimated that more than half the population of the planet watched the FIFA World Cup in 2018. Join us for a rare insight into the people and processes that have made football what it is today.

Book online

Booking information

Online booking is advised but tickets will also be available to buy on the door. Last entry to the exhibition is 90 minutes before the museum closes.

Adult tickets from £16.80
Student tickets from £12.50
Save 25% on Family group tickets

Other concession tickets are available.

Exhibition ended.

Discover the beautiful game

Sam Handy: The Revolution Will Be Rubberised

Sam Handy, Vice President of Design at Adidas Football, tells us what it’s like to work on a bona fide design revolution...

Celebrating Pride in London with JJ Guest

Artist JJ Guest unveils a series of digital commissions to celebrate Pride in London and the #DesigningFootball exhibition.

Video: Gary Lineker visits #DesigningFootball

Former professional footballer Gary Lineker visits our exhibition with the Design Museum director Tim Marlow and recounts some anecdotes behind some of the objects on display.

Podcast: Gary Lineker in conversation with Tim Marlow

Hear Gary Lineker talk about some of the highlights in his career, and reflect on why football holds such an important position within our collective consciousness.

Skills challenge: An unusual football match

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour goes head-to-head with world champion freestyler Andrew Henderson to answer the question: ‘Is today’s football kit really better than its past designs?’

10 Unmissable Highlights from #DesigningFootball

From original kits to a match ball that decided on a match score – check the top 10 items from our exhibition.

People. Stories. Football.

Discover four inspirational stories from global football storytelling and photography project Goal Click.

Enhance your visit with the free Bloomberg Connects app

Explore the design stories behind #DesigningFootball with our exclusive content hosted on the Bloomberg Connects app.

unlimited access

Superfan Season Ticket

Supercharge your experience with free unlimited access to Football: Designing the Beautiful Game for you, a guest and up to 3 children (6-15 years old). Become a Superfan Season Ticket holder for £45 and enjoy benefits including a 10% discount at the exhibition shop and related events until 29 August 2022.

Become a member

Enjoy a year of free unlimited access to all exhibitions for you and a guest and up to 3 children (6–15 years old), priority booking to our programme of events, discounts in the shop and more. Join Membership Plus annually for £75, or £65 by Direct Debit. Are you a student? Join Student Membership for only £45.

Exhibition 3D Design: OMMX

Exhibition 2D Design: Shaz Madani

Exhibition Sound Design: Coda to Coda

Marketing Campaign Identity: Maker Motel | Designer: Alistair Ager

Take Football Home

#DesigningFootball Stories

The exhibition catalogue features contributions from figures across the world of football and design, from analyst Statman Dave and broadcaster Martin Tyler, to architect Jacques Herzog and VP of design at adidas Sam Handy. The diverse perspectives reveal the extraordinary richness of the game’s design legacy and cast new light on its future. Buy online or pick up your copy at the exhibition shop. Click and collect at the museum or home delivery options are available on the Design Museum Shop website.


Content Partner, National Football Museum

The National Football Museum originally opened in Preston in 2001. After investment from the European Regional Development Fund, the museum opened in Manchester in July 2012 and has played host to a range of popular and thought-provoking exhibitions celebrating football’s role and impact in wider society.

National Football Museum

Supported by

Exhibition Partner, Italian Trade Agency

Italian Trade Agency

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