This sounds like the start of a bad joke…
Well, maybe in some ways, it is.
You know the glitter glass heart logo, the villa, the neon strip lights, the pool and that intensely-green astroturf lawn that somehow hasn’t faded despite spending eight weeks under the Spanish sun.
We all know ITV’s Love Island and like a kind of Christmas in July, it’s been on everyone’s lips and we’ve have had our fill on it for at least another year.
Even though the show is now somehow over for 2018, there’s still a faint lingering of it in both spoken word and in the artifacts known as official merch.
If you think back to the villa where the contestants were incarcerated and the magic happened, you’ll remember those vinyl stickers stuck to just about every surface that said phrases such as “Yas Queen”, “Extra”, “Get laid” and “Eat. Sleep. Selfie. Repeat” in neon colours. These stickers themselves provided a synopsis and commentary to the what went on in the villa and even explained to the Islanders how to shower.
The typeface that festooned the villa’s walls, lawns, and every other surface had a hand-written appearance which looked great as neon lights and totally harmless, no matter how irritating the phrases it was used for were.
The white acrylic fruit-infuser water bottles that the Islanders carried around with them were made distinguishable by sharing the same vinyl stickers as the rest of the Villa did, having each Islander’s name printed along the side-not that the Islanders seemed to mind sharing each-others saliva.
One day at our office, a parcel arrived that contained a water bottle. Opening the parcel was perhaps the most emotional responses to a water bottle you could imagine. The bottle itself was ‘official merch’ so looked identical to the ones the Islanders had, and was deeply-coveted because of this.
When learning that official merch bottles actually existed, I researched them on Love Island’s Official Shop, there were also washbags, phone cases and wristbands for sale at fairly-premium prices. All of these items were branded by only one feature-the typeface that is so ingrained into the show, available in neon pink or orange.
I had always assumed that the typeface was bespoke for the series, especially with how iconic it was. But after becoming obsessed with the bottles after seeing them around the office, on the streets and especially in the gym, I had to do my own research on this infamous set of scrawled glyphs.
I was shocked to learn that the typeface, named Pecita, was in fact, free and readily available for download so that anyone could go ahead and fill their home with neon “Lit” stickers and get their hands on THAT water bottle for £4 from Primark, instead of having wait until September until the official store restocks them.
Taking five minutes to research Love Island’s brand guidelines has left me feeling a bit naïve that I didn’t see this coming, how much more Love Island can you really get than downloading a loveable free font, choosing a neon colour palette for it and using it to make “All night long” stickers with.