Introducing is a feature looking at a handpicked selection of magazines, fanzines, websites, blogs, teams, projects and individuals who produce great quality content on football and football culture. 
For our next Introducing feature we move on to Portsmouth and speak to the two co-founders of From 12 Yards, Mark Gee & Andrew Sanders. These two friends’ inspirations for the project started from a mutual love of football and design – and a particular fondness of Football Italia. Combining abstract illustrations with the beautiful game – the pair sell a great collection of poster prints in their online shop and push the boundaries of poster printing, with a huge range of interesting finishes and luxury stock.
To someone who hasn’t heard of it, how would you describe From 12 Yards in one sentence?
Mark Gee & Andrew Sanders: A tour de force of expressive abstract design inspired by the beautiful game.
What is the story behind the creation of the project?
MG & AS: From 12 Yards was born out of a healthy obsession of both football and simplistic abstract design by two friends. After countless discussions about one of our favourite childhood shows ‘Football Italia’ presented by James Richardson on Channel 4, along with our favourite kits and players from Serie A in the 90s, we sparked a conversation about developing a zine based on retired greats. It was from this initial discussion we believed we could marry both our passion for the game along with a simplistic, raw design style. We decided to hold back on creating the zine straight away and instead began designing poster-prints of football kits and patterns in a couple of core styles that have now become a signature of ours.

Do you remember what made you first fall in love with football, could you pinpoint it to a single moment?

MG: I don’t remember a time I wasn’t either playing or watching football. My whole childhood was based around my passion and obsession for the game. ‘Jumpers for goalposts’, school break times trading stickers and kicking a bright orange tennis ball in the winter months in the school tennis court as we tried to replicate the winter season, shouting ‘David Beckham’ whenever somebody struct the ball from the halfway line at goal. I remember when I finally got the chance to go to my first game as a kid. The anticipation and excitement walking through the streets on the way to the ground, the roar of the energetic crowd and choice language in the terraces was unlike any other noise I’d heard. It was electric!

AS: It would have to be Football Italia, as a kid on a Saturday morning, hearing ‘gooaallllll laziooooooo’ from the intro music. I was interested in football before then but this was a different world and I was hooked!

What is the unique selling point of your project?

MG & AS: We have a raw style, stripping our work back to the basics and not trying to be overly clever about it. We’re both designers who have worked in sport, luxury and fashion, using this knowledge we elevate our work by printing on luxury paper stocks, using interesting finishes and trying to push the boundaries of print when possible.

Out of everything you have done through From 12 Yards so far, what are you most proud of/what has been your most enjoyable moment?

MG: For me, our first overseas order was a pinching moment. A realisation that people really digged our style and what we are about. Waking up in the morning to 5 bespoke commissions from 5 different people Stateside, packaging those up and sending them out in our bespoke black tubes was an incredible feeling.

AS: The piece we did on Neymar for @gate11.co stands out for me. We produced the piece together, taking a number each from a really open brief and what we came up with was so different to the other entries who focused on the traditional portrait illustrative approach. We printed the piece in 1 colour green on the vibrant Colorplan Factory Yellow from GF Smith which really made the design pop.

What next for From 12 Yards?

MG & AS: We have a lot in the pipeline, in the short term we’re working on a clothing range and also creating our first zine. A small limited edition abstract publication based on the Champions League. More long term we’re planning creating a poster series based on each of the 92 English League Clubs which we’re planning on turning into an exhibition.

Out of all the football websites, magazines, podcasts, projects out there, what are your personal favourites?

MG & AS: What A Howler from the US is on point!

Glory is a beautiful publication choosing different locations for each issue.

Patterns of Play – what they’ve just recently created for Norwich Football Clubs programme covers this season are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

To someone wanting to start up a similar project to yours, what would be your words of advice?

MG & AS: Just give it a go! Pick something you’re passionate about and run with it. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you’ve a unique idea in a crowded marketplace you’re more likely to stand out. But you need passion and drive. Long days, long nights and plenty of hard work but it’s worth it if you love it. You get what you put in.

If someone wanted to collaborate with you at From 12 Yards, how would you suggest they went about it?

MG & AS: We’re really open to working with different people and organisations, drop us an email at hello@from12yards.co.uk or tap us up on our Instagram.