Manchester City FC announced last week that the one and only Noel Gallagher (lead singer of Oasis) has designed a special edition font for the club's Men's First Team kit which they will wear in every Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup match in 2024/2025. Man City fans will also be able to purchase the home kit with their favourite players' names in the font so that they can not only celebrate their favourite club but also celebrate one of the city's music legends. 

But what's to stop others using the same font? How is it ‘special’? 

Whilst often overlooked, fonts or typefaces can actually be protected under UK copyright law (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) as an artistic, graphic work. It would be too far to say that every person's individual handwriting automatically attracted copyright, but where that handwriting or font has been curated with the author's skill and judgement and amounts to a creation of their own intellect, it can be protected. 

In this context, it seems possible that there has been some level of artistic judgement and care taken by Noel (and possibly others) to create a graphic work that would be capable of protection. It seems unlikely this ‘new font’ was created simply by Noel writing each players' name on a piece of paper just one time! Copyright protection is therefore possible in principle. 

If copyright protection alone is not enough, it is also possible to obtain a registered design for lettering as a set but given Noel's notoriety and the various handwritten song lyrics and other articles that have circulated over the years, it seems unlikely that a registered design could be obtained. A point to remember for typography artist and calligraphists though!