York Graphic Designers News – recently completed projects and random musings from the York Graphic Designers team.
With Euro 2012 a little over one week away, the anticipation of watching England get hammered (hopefully not but it’s going to happen) by some of the most talented players in Europe is building at York Graphic Designers HQ. With this is in mind, what better way to whet our appetite for the three week football extravaganza than taking a look at the logos produced for this and the previous years tournaments.
European Football Championships 1960-1992 – Various countries
The first UEFA European Football Championship (originally called UEFA European Nations Cup) was held in 1960 in France. The logo produced for the competition was a minimal graphic symbolising a flag using a wave of 5 lines (two red, one white and two blue) to represent the host nations national colours, above the acronym for the Union of European Football Associations, UEFA.
Little is know about the designer of the logo used for the first championship, but it was that successful it was used for the subsequent 8 tournaments, with the wave line colours and year changing to represent the host nation.
In 1980, Italy were due to host the tournament for a second time and so an alternative logo was designed. The logo featured a football graphic above two leafs and the text EUROPA 80, to represent a flower, and was to be the first time a logo did not contain the UEFA acronym. It was a fairly poor effort and UEFA reverted to the original design for the next three tournaments.
Euro 96 – England
Euro 96 was the first time the official UEFA logo had differed from the original design created for the 1960 tournament. The logo featured an abstract graphic of a footballer dribbling the ball, which when glanced at quickly looked like a football. It was bright and fresh, and with the use of modern, well spaced typography, brought logo bang up to date. Although the original 1960 logo was a design classic, this was a step in the right direction in order to move with the times.
Euro 2000 – Belgium/Netherlands
With the Euro 96 logo being well received, UEFA decided that each tournament would have its own, uniquely designed logo. The logo for Euro 2000 seemed like a step backwards. The logo featured an abstract footballer made up from the colours of the host nations flags. The idea itself was ok, but it seemed the concept had not been fully developed. Set against a circle with a blue radial gradient, the abstract figure appeared weak. The typography on this logo was very bland, and for the first time featured the UEFA crescent. By using the same typeface and font size for the EURO and 2000, the typography carried little impact.
Euro 2004 – Portugal
I should remember this logo more than any other as I actually attended the Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal, but unfortunately I don’t, and the design was another step backwards. You can see why they stuck with the original logo for so long. While the hand written style Euro 2004 text was fluid and engaging, the graphic used to accompany it bore no relevance to the host country. A heart surrounding a football does not represent portugal in any way, and the seven green dots around the right hand side of the heart only add to the confusion. The brief was to convey Portugal’s passion for football, but the final design was a very poor and unimaginative interpretation.
Euro 2008 – Austria/Switzerland
The Swiss are renowned for reliability and they did not disappoint with their logo for the tournament they jointly hosted with Austria. The main element of the graphic was a spiked line curving around an abstract football to symbolise the mountain range that runs through both countries, The Alps. The line is in red to represent the main colour of both countries flags, while the abstract footballs background colour is green to symbolise the rolling green landscape both countries are famous for during the summer months. The typography is clean and subtle, using san serif typefaces of different weights to create a vibrant logo that is representative of both countries.
Euro 2012 – Poland/Ukraine
This brings us on to the logo for the upcoming tournament to be held in both Poland and Ukraine. I have to say I personally like it and think it is a huge success. The main aspect of the logo is a plant with two flowers, each in the colour of the host nations and a larger abstract flower in the middle representing a football. Both the flowers and the football feature a pattern which is thought to be a visual representation of ‘wycinanka’, the traditional art of paper folding practiced by both countries. All three elements of the plant are linked with a green stem to symbolise how the two countries are growing together as it will be the first time the tournament will be held in Central and Eastern Europe. The Typography takes its lead from the Swiss/Austrian Euro 2008 logo, using different weighted sans serif fonts to create a clean and well balanced logotype.