Soccer for some and Football for others, is simply “The Beautiful Game”, as it is known in the United Kingdom. It is the most popular sport in the world and reaches its peak every four years with the World Cup, where the matrix of mandatory opinion is flown.
The sport has billions of fans around the world (generous estimates put that figure at 3,500 million, or about half of the world’s population) and has a significant presence of international media during its tournament, which has a duration of one month.
Since the first World Cup in 1930, each competition has adopted its own distinctive visual identity.
The first twenty years, from 1930 to 1950
During the first four World Cups (it should be noted that there were no tournaments in 1942 and 1946 due to the Second Great War), the organizers of the event created posters of events instead of logos, these were basically hand-made posters by visual artists that then they were reproduced and they were destined to the advertising of mass flyer and for the conventional advertising in means of communication.
The historic first poster, made for the 1930 tournament (held in Uruguay), shows a very stylized goalkeeper stopping a ball. By then, the artistic vanguard was very marked by surrealism and abstraction; however, the first poster of the World Cup was a bit more traditionalist and adopted an Art Deco concept. In addition, it was a time when design and photography had not yet merged, so the advertising materials were still a direct result of the plastic arts.
After the 50s, the beginning of the logos by contention
We already had the opportunity to see in an article published in Tent logo an explanation of the logo of the FIFA brand, which would be officially adopted until 1970. However, as regards the visual identity for each world contest, the host countries have always had the greatest decision. Of course, this has evolved a bit, maintaining this power of opinion of the local organizers, although also incorporating some of the decisions of FIFA in this regard.
This has given way to that, apart from an official logo of the FIFA brand, there is also a new logo for each of the championships that seeks to identify them specifically. The first time this rule was established was at the World Cup in Switzerland in 1954, when a logo was created for the race generated from the distinctive Swiss cross, white. Since then, most of these logos are distinguished by some symbolic element of the host nations.
After the 70s, optimization of the visual image
Naturally, with the new technologies applied to design, the visual images that we would see of FIFA from the 70s would be much more colorful and framed by better concepts oriented to mass publicity by the mass media.
In that sense, apart from the distinctive nationalist that would identify the country in graphic form, two other elements that began to be recurrent in the logos of the world championships were the names of the countries and a ball. The ball was fundamental because it had to be as different as possible from the Olympics, which were having a popularity as high as the World Cup.
Here we show you a series of logos from the World Cup in Mexico 1970, to Fracia 98:
The New Millennium and the high-end symbolism
Something that characterizes modernity is the triumph of minimalism, which starts from the concept that large messages can be included in specific things, because everything can have a complex and extended explanation. Hence, everything wants to be reduced to its minimum expression. This has undoubtedly been a revolution in design.
The logo of the first Millennium World Cup, that of Korea Japan in 2002, began with a series of representations of something more than a unified visual identity. Contemporary logos began to borrow from the culture and history of the host countries to tell a story beyond the events on the field of play and in short words.
The 2002 logo was based ” on the principles and artistic traditions of Korea and Japan, such as asymmetry, dynamism and harmony, to be at the height of the high-quality design for which both countries are recognized, ” said Andy Milligan, then International Project Manager for the brand Interbrand, agency in charge of designing the logo for the World Cup in Korea, Japan.
The logo of Germany 2006, designed by the British agency Whitestone, aimed to celebrate the joy, happiness and smile of the German people. ”We want to be friendly hosts and celebrate a party with everyone,” said Franz Beckenbauer, president of the Local Organizing Committee of the 2006 World Cup. ”Our logo expresses the relaxed and cheerful character of the upcoming FIFA World Cup.”
The most recent logos
For its part, for South Africa 2010, the logo was intended to show the world a new side of both the South African people and the continent as a whole: “one of peace, progress and excellence, ” said the local director of the organizing committee, Danny Jordan. The color scheme of the logo is based largely on the cultural melting pot of the country, which forms an outline of the entire continent in a message of unity. In addition, the political sense of expansion of the poorest continent in the world was undeniable, and was a symbol that, despite all the adversities suffered in that part of the world, there is the will to do things.
A very celebrated logo at the design level was the 2014 Brazil. For the contest of that year, the organizers asked 25 Brazilian agencies to present a proposal that incorporated the twin dimensions of Brazil: modernity and diversity. The winner, created by the Africa Agency, was inspired by the “iconic photograph of three victorious hands that together raise the most famous trophy in the world, “according to a FIFA press release.” In addition to representing the inspiring humanitarian notion of hands that intertwine, the image of the hands is a symbol that warmly welcomes the world on the Brazilian coasts.”
Now, it remains to talk about the logo of Russia 2018, a world cup that has not been free of controversy, as we have seen in our post related to the economic issues that revolve around the world championships . This logo, however, has been very celebrated and follows the line of the cup represented through colors and shapes that are taken from the culture of the country. The colors are very colorful and sell the concept of magic windows, which are those blue ovals on the top of the glass. The proposal was made by Brandia Central, a company that won a contest similar to the one that was made for the 2014 Brazil logo.
Probably, these designs of the altered cups will continue to be seen in the future because they have worked a lot for the effects of FIFA’s visual marketing. In any case, it will be time to wait and see how this area of the World Cup develops in the future.