The 2014 World Cup logo was chosen from 125+ submissions, by a panel of influential Brazilians (including supermodel Gisele Bundchen). The chosen logo, designed by the Brazilian ad agency Africa, consists of 3 hands hoisting a trophy in the air, twisting around each other. The hands are drawn with enlarged fingertips which some believe to resemble a goalie’s gloves.
“The role of the Official Emblem is to provide a strong, visual representation of both the event and the host country,” FIFA says on its website. “Though designing this can be a challenging task.”
I think the concept and the color scheme are working- it portrays both the sport and the diverse host nation well. The colors are vibrant and festive, just like the Brazilian culture. But some believe it could have been perfected a little further…
Using hands in a soccer/football logo?
This may be confusing to some, so let’s break it down. The use of hands in logos usually signifies unity, and is used in countless non profit logos. The goal of the design agency here is to depict Brazil welcoming the other nations to it’s shores. While the hands in the logo have meaning, the contour of the three reaching hands resembles the World Cup trophy. Form and function at its best.
The “Frog Hands”
Graphic designer Felix Stockwell’s blog from 2010 points out many technical flaws in the logo, saying the fingers aren’t distinctive enough. While Stockwell is a seasoned professional and a master of contour line, I must disagree. I think the bulbous fingers adds an organic element to the logo; giving it a hand drawn appearance. This is more fitting to Brazilian culture. A lot of Brazilian art comes from poverty, painted crudely on dilapidated brick walls, etc- so I think imperfections in this logo are welcomed.
Sometimes a designer is asked to shrink their logo down to fractions of an inch. When looking at the World Cup logo, my first impression was that the fingers and hands are too close together. This might become problematic when used in smaller one color applications like embroidered items. But when shrunken, something else is going on here. Yes, outlines of the fingers touch and become indistinctive, but now the logo just looks like the trophy! Very clever.
Initially, I didn’t agree with the chosen font for “2014”, but after some thought, now I wouldn’t change it. The organic appearance and imperfect lines illustrates Brazil’s jubilant and festive culture. I also think the second font, “BRASIL” is a good choice; once again showing the festiveness of the Brazilian culture.
Just wanted to quickly share some other branding that’s goes along with the iconic logo. Fun, floral, festive. Love it!
- See FIFA’s public brand usage guidelines here – I could not track down the internal document for their
- Felix Sockwell’s take on the 2014 World Cup Logo