Wednesday, 18 August 2010

EURO 2012 Tournament Identity

Euro 2012, the European Football Championship, will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine from 8 June to 1 July 2012. Obviously, as Polish I’m enthusiastic about such a big event being co-organised in my country. However I’m also very emotional about the tournament’s logo design and its brand identification.
Official logo and brand identity were created by Portuguese agency Brandia Central.

The following is excerpted from the UEFA website.
Visual identity
The purpose of the logo is to give UEFA EURO 2012™ a personality of its own, with the visual identity to be applied across a range of promotional applications from tickets to web banners. The objective is to help promote the tournament – one of the world’s biggest sporting events – by providing an easily recognisable identity with a flavour of the host nations. The logo takes its visual lead from ‘wycinanka’, the traditional art of paper cutting practised in rural areas of Poland and Ukraine, as a tribute to the fauna and flora of the region.

EURO bloom
The ‘bloom’ logo has a flower representing each of the co-host nations and a central ball symbolising the emotion and passion of the competition, while the stem denotes the structural aspect of the competition, UEFA and European football. Nature has inspired other features of the visual identity, with woodland green, sun yellow, aqua blue, sky blue and blackberry purple being the crucial tones of the palette of colours to figure in official tournament branding.

Uniting ethos
The event slogan, meanwhile, is ‘Creating History Together’. The staging of the UEFA European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine, a first for Central and Eastern Europe, will have a place in the history books, with everyone involved in UEFA EURO 2012™ – organisers, host countries, host cities, players and fans – contributing to another exciting chapter of European football.

On a Cannes Lions International site I found this project’s applications for this year Cannes Lion Award . We read there:

Description of how you arrived at the final design:
The starting point was blending Wycinanki, a common art form in both hosting countries, and football. The result is an identity which is original, genuine and has a powerful message: Make football grow in every way.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market:
Success in the market: - The work that was developed so far for the logo and visual identity of the UEFA EURO 2012 is very bold and represents a major breakthrough in these type of events. Many top design publications and personalities have shown an interest in what we did and gave us praise for it. Both host countries and UEFA are very excited about the brand and people around the world, football fans and others, have embraced it.

In the host countries though, the logo design has got lots of criticism. In Ukraine they say, it brings up an association with the “chupa-chups” lollipops. Polish fans are complaining about the colours of the “Polish flower”. They say it is necessary to swap the colours on it, because on the Polish flag white goes first and red is after it. It is also not enough Polish as this form of Wycinanki incorporated into logo has Ukrainian origins.

To me, incorporating Wycinanki (Papercuts) into logo design was a good direction and really great idea. But its interpretation is too much literal. It could look much more sophisticated. In present form the logo looks more like an illustration and it’s too detailed.

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