Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Blog #4: Logos through the years

The more I think about getting a World Cup tattoo, the stronger my desire to get one. Football is a massive part of my life, but moreover the tat would always remind me of the time that hundreds of my friends and family put their whole heart and soul into helping me achieve a lifelong dream. I'll never forget how amazing the support was.

So in my quest to find the design I want, I've been poring over old logos from past tournaments. This has been a big help, as I now know that I won't be using old logos from past tournaments!

Let's take a look at them:

Perhaps the World Cup wasn't the massive event in 1950 that it is now, but when I look at this poster I see an advert for a local five-a-sides tournament. I half expect to see '£50 a team' in the corner.

A foot kicking a ball? That's what you think the greatest spectacle in the world boils down to, Brazil? Frankly, I'm a little insulted.

This also gets marked down for featuring the worst sock I have ever seen. Primark wouldn't stock this at Christmas time. That's how bad it is.


Really, who designs these things?

Someone might have told the artist that they were to capture the greatest moment in Switzerland's history, the summer in which they hosted the biggest sporting event in the world. If I saw this from a distance, I'd think I was on the right road for the local hospital.

I see the elements they were going for - the Swiss flag, the football, and presumably the world behind it. Frankly the ball looks to be resting on the segments of a peeled orange. And I don't know about you, but when I think of the World Cup I think Brazil, Germany, Italy, goals, red cards, penalties. Fruit is not a huge association of mine.

Even crappier than the last.


Clearly, this is the best we have seen so far, but that is not saying a lot.

My first problem is with the font. I appreciate Microsoft Word wasn't readily available in 1958 but their 'FOOTBALL FUTBOL FUSSBALL' is literally the most boring thing I have ever seen on a poster. And I include the poster for my local church coffee morning in that.

Why just the three languages anyway? A bit RACIST of you Sweden!!

Good - the way they wrapped the flags of all competing countries around the ball.
Bad - being one of the countries that they tried to hide.

"Yeah, f you Mexico. We didn't think you would mind if we wrapped you around the ball, barely visible. Yugoslavia, on the other hand, they're good buddies of ours. Centre stage for their flag. In fact, while we're at it Mexico, we even care about you less than West Germany, who just over a decade ago were trying to blow us all up."


Obviously we are still a long way from being at the cups I remember. Chile 1962 isn't one I was around for but can some old footie buff clarify something for me.

Are we talking Chile, South America, or was the tournament held in Chile, Outer Space?

This logo has NASA written all over it. Was it a football event or a space program? Tripe.


A pet hate of mine is how obsessed the English media are with their own team during a tournament. Spain v Honduras? Opens with a fifteen minute segment on the England team, naturally.

Nice to know it's not a recent development though. What better way to sum up the global nature of the world's finest tournament than by putting all the flags of the competing nations? Oh wait, this isn't Sweden, this is England, where apparently the only competing team are, err, England.

While we're on the subject of 1966, the ball didn't cross the line.


I was all ready to rip another logo to pieces, then I saw this. What is there to say?!

Simplicity the key here for Mexico. I remember a few times at school we had visitors with a competition to design a logo or poster for something; I would suggest that school kids had created this but my mum and dad were still at school in 1970 and that would be a massive insult to their generation.

We seem to have also answered the question "When did bubble writing stop being cool?" with this logo. 1970, it would seem.

Oh, and f you right back Sweden - no flags, especially yours!


God, I don't even want to berate these. If I had something nice to say I would say it. The World Cup is one of my favourite things in life and I want to love its logos, but Jesus H Christ! What is this?!

I don't actually know what to say. Their idea of sprucing it up was to throw in some colour - olive green. It's harsh what people say about the Germans being dull, eh?

As for the design itself, simply stunning. A plain ball, with three elephant tusks in sight. That certainly seems to be the overbearing memory people I talk to have of West Germany 74, the elephants.


Just when I thought we weren't going to see one good logo, this comes along.

And bloody well confirms it!

FIFA, I dare not think how difficult it must be to organise one of these tournaments. I do get it. They cost literally millions, thousands of staff are involved and I cannot even imagine the level of organisation that must go into making things run smoothly.

But please, just find some way to set aside a little bit more time and money to invest into designing logos. I'm going crazy here.

I literally do not know what this is. A football and four blue...? Answers on a postcard.

Wait, are they hands?!


With the other logos, I only had to look for seconds and my fingers were running across the keyboard, spewing vitriol.

I have been staring at this for more than a minute and I actually don't know if I like it. Perhaps my mind is now so warped from looking at so many atrocities that this seems good by comparison, when any other day of the year I would hate it.

It is pretty bad. The Spanish flag appearing behind the ball is the best piece of design we have seen, although pretty poorly executed all the same.

They seem to have decided upon a circular design with flags, tried to make it work and ran out of time to change tack. So what we have is a bunch of flags arranged into a poor circle, each crappily overlapping the next.

One of the better efforts though. Feel mildly proud, Spain, like a toddler who managed to get most of their pee in the potty.


Goddamnit, I was willing to give me and Mexico another try.

Throwing in a couple of globes and adding red and green into the mix does not improve matters.

Sixteen years - obviously not enough time to learn your lesson.


See me after class, Italy.


I feel bad for the US. They are an easy target after all, and with this design they do not deserve to be mocked. Yes, not fantastic and perhaps a bit simple, but the best we have seen. It's in the United States, it's a football tournament, this logo conveys all those things and does not provoke any great deal of rage in me.

But don't think I've forgotten, America. This is the first tournament I remember and even just seven years old, I knew you for the fools you are.

Yes, I remember. America's idea of a World Cup mascot? That international symbol of global football, the dog.

This is why the world laughs at you. We finally say "Look, okay, host the tournament. You don't know anything about football - and it is football, not soccer - but give it a bash. Fair play, we all deserve a shot."

And what do you do? You give us a dog wearing a football kit. You can't see it, but I'm shaking my head at you.

What's worse is, that year's Sega Mega Drive game - imaginatively named "World Cup USA '94" - is almost unplayable. Where any normal footie game would have menu options like 'Single player', 'Two player' and '5-min game' or '10-min game', USA '94 took the bizarre step of representing these options with this idiot of a dog in a variety of poses.

So children had to navigate their way around Dog, Two Dogs, Dog With Whistle, Dog With Offside Flag, Dog Standing With A Television, Dog Tying His Shoelace until eventually finding themselves at kick-off. I daresay some never did, and were just endlessly lost in menu after menu of dogs in stupid poses.

Anyway, back to the logo. You did good, America.


What a relief. I have literally nothing bad to say about this. A nice design with no football dogs, horrible socks or hastily-arranged flag circles in sight.

Good effort.


Am I starting to see things?!

This is absolutely wonderful. Spot on. It is everything I could ever want in a World Cup logo. Simple yet so effective. I look at this and I think - "Oh cool, the World Cup's on"

Not "Which way to the hospital?" or "Argh! Elephants!"

I love it.


Listen, I feel bad. I shouldn't have said those things - I know I shouldn't have mentioned the war, and I know olive green isn't the worst colour in the world. It could have been brown. I'm sorry.

I have been harsh on you Germany, but you do not help yourself.

I mean, what is this monstrosity?! Where do I start? Do I point out that you have three horribly-designed laughing faces which have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH FOOTBALL?!

Or, even more shockingly, that you have ripped off the Korea Japan logo from the last tournament and thought we wouldn't notice?! We're not talking Brazil 1950 here, this was literally the last World Cup before yours, you dolts!

You have reached a new low.


We're finally here. I can stop, at long last.

I don't like this one bit. This is without question the worst drawing of a player going for an overhead kick I have ever seen, and I've seen my fair share. Peter Crouch looks more graceful when attempting the overheady.

But I'm finished. I give this a decent mark just because it's the last one. Thank the Lord that is over.


Maybe a tattoo isn't such a good idea.

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