FIFA 2014 World Cup Logo

If there’s two things we love at Argon, it’s branding and sport. So whenever there is an opportunity to blog about an upcoming international sporting event we grab it with both hands – and there’s no bigger than the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Host country and 5 time winners Brazil currently go in as the bookies favourites but there’ll be some stiff competition from reigning champions Spain, fellow Europeans Germany and a host of South American nations. Unfortunately, the Socceroos are coming into the competition a little unsettled and aren’t tipped to make it out of the group stages. But enough about the teams, let’s get to the fun part – pulling apart the current and previous competition branding!

Similarly to the ICC Cricket World Cup, there is a long and abominable history of missed goals when it comes to World Cup logos and regrettably this years effort still requires some extra pre-game massaging. The concept behind the logo is perfectly fine, except for the irony that you can’t actually use your hands when playing the sport, however there are some qualities that could have been addressed before it’s official launch.

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Details such as the green frog-like hands, the squashed red ‘2014’ text (which is particularly hard to read at smaller sizes) and the gawky treatment and rotation of the intellectual property symbols could have all used a substitution at the break.

Despite the issues, the brandmark has good colour, energy and spirit and accurately represents the passion that Brazilians hold toward their national sport. Unfortunately very few of the previous tournament logos battle to even grasp these basic qualities and fail to meet the pass mark.

Let’s take it one logo at a time.

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The good.

The Mexico 1970 tournament is widely regarded by fans as the finest in World Cup history but they also managed to get their logo in an on-side position. The ball ‘mark’ is beautifully put together using careful symmetry and a vibrant blue colour. One of the key ingredients to any logo is it’s longevity and this flat design and simple layout could still very easily still be used today. While the text has aged somewhat, it is now recognised as traditionally Mexican and was revolutionary for the early 70’s.

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The bad.

Oh so many to chose from, but we only have to go back a couple of tournaments to the complete mess that is Germany 2006. A hosh posh of colours, elements, faces and general mayhem detonate from a relatively simple concept… a reliable sign that a committee had got their claws into it. Once it has been seen, it cannot be unseen.

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The ugly.

Again, there were several to select from however Spain 1982 pips the rest at the post with a concept that should have been red carded. The idea of including the flags of all participating nations is something that belongs on a poster or large signage rather than a brandmark that requires representation at a thumbnail size.

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