Frizzell stamps his colloquial Kiwi mark on Rugby World Cup

Earlier this year at Semi Permanent, Dick Frizzell gave Design Daily a taster of what he had planned by way of designs for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. And now the seven designs that will adorn the tournament’s official apparel have finally been unveiled.

“They wanted me to locate Rugby World Cup 2011 both culturally and geographically in New Zealand and to give it that Kiwiana flavour,” says Frizzell. “I just dived into the nostalgic history and applied all my own motifs to the culture of rugby in New Zealand.”

One of our favourites is ‘The Kia Kaha Kid’, who plays out the moves of the haka in a cartoonish style reminiscent of Frizzell’s famous Four Square man. With his son Otis referring to it as the “son of the Four Square man”, Frizzell puts the likeness down to “something about the way I draw”. He originally wanted to use the Four Square man because of his associated history with the character, but because of complications associated with copyrights, he dropped the idea. And it was his wife who gave him the inspiration he needed to create a new character.

“Jude suggested I design a completely new character, which I thought would be a bit odd because it wouldn’t have the Kiwiana history. But Jude assured me it would if I did it. So there he is—already feeling like a real character.”

As for the Kia Kaha kid’s moves, Frizzell says it was his best selling Pukeko in a Ponga Tree book that gave him the poses he needed.

Another design incorporates a number of Rugby World Cup balls that together form the face of a tiki. And Frizzell describes this design as his big eureka moment.

“I spotted the potential for a tiki after reading the official IRB rugby ball image. I printed it out six times and (almost holding my breath in excitement) with very little manipulation produced ‘Logo Tiki’—how magic was that?”

The very cool, nostalgic ‘Two Halves and Four Quarters’ design harks back to that bygone tradition of a bowl of orange segments at half time. And Frizzell jokes it was his grandson’s Saturday morning soccer game that literally handed him the idea on a plate.

“Out came the oranges at halftime. All you have to do is keep your mind and eyes open. And I always have my camera with me.”

Frizzell says he’s had a fantastic time working on this project and he reallys hope people enjoy the results “because I’m absolutely stoked about the whole thing”.

Ross Munro of Sportfolio—the official sportswear supplier for RWC 2011—collaborated with Frizzell and his agent John Gow of Gow Langsford Gallery to develop an apparel range using the artworks.

“It’s been a pleasure having Dick Frizzell on board and creating such a quirky, iconic collection that is already getting an amazing response,” says Munro. And he sums up the designs perfectly when he says: “The designs are distinctive, imaginative and laid-back. Or, in other words, typically Kiwi.”

You’ll find Frizzell’s designs gracing a range of t-shirts and hoodies, and they’lll also be available as a limited edition boxed set of art prints.

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