Design trends through the updated emblems of national soccer teams

Soccer will be everywhere in the next few weeks. Just like it always is, but even more so. The reason is understandable: the World Cup is back. A global event that brings the whole planet to a standstill every four summers and that, for reasons that are of no interest here, will be celebrated almost in winter this year in Qatar.

This event unleashes passions and has an interesting way of keeping us rooted to our screens. 

The soccer World Cup is a huge event and the eyes of the world, if I may say so again, are watching. Logically, brands are well aware of this. We’re talking about contracts with lots of zeros and the perfect opportunity for marketing, dramatic effects and, of course, corporate image. 

And this is our point exactly…  

When the brand is a country

What better place to present our boldest designs than at a showcase of such magnitude? Federations are well aware of what is at stake here (which is much bigger than what takes place on the field) and they seize the opportunity to present redesigns of their logos and subtle (and not so subtle) variations of tone in the colors of the national kits of each team. Because creating a logo is a demanding task, as we already discussed in one of our past blog entries. Imagine its importance when the brand is nothing less than a whole country. 

It is all about impressing an audience that you already have in your pocket. Seduced by a combination of sportsmanship and patriotic pride, fans are ready and waiting to buy the shirt (and work up a sweat in it). Well, that and all the associated merchandising. 

This large and consolidated niche offers the ideal breeding ground to allow us to experiment. Kits will continue to sell because their colors are felt, not disputed. And if they are disputed, then even better. Let’s not forget the saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity, a given in Anglo-Saxon culture. 

Redesigning emblems

In their ongoing effort to learn, improve, keep up-to-date, generate hype and try to convince you not to even consider wearing the same shirt from the last world cup, many federations are updating the designs of their logos and emblems in recent years. Let’s take a look at some of these redesigns before this 22nd FIFA Soccer World Cup. 

A quick look at these designs reveals, almost beyond any doubt, a clear trend: anything goes. From the use of cleaner lines and shapes, as is the case of Spain and Belgium, to the inclusion of variations of the patterns and icons to arouse national pride, as done by Australia and Mexico. 

While Gibraltar, for example, has updated its emblem for the first time since the 17th century (or at least so it seems), Mali’s response is an unmistakable effort to evoke the memory of the past… 

But let us continue to enjoy this charming visual display of the trends set by the world of design in each country. 

One growing trend is that of not repeating a message that we are already more than familiar with, as proposed by the updated emblems of Paraguay and Romania.  

In addition, while Senegal has given its brave lion a facelift to make it more recognizable, Thailand has opted to hide its emblematic elephant.

Redesigning national soccer team emblems and logos

Bahrain and India have both slimmed down their logos, streamlining their former rounded shapes.

In view of these creations, it is wonderful to see that design is more vibrant than ever, that global creativity is advancing without limits and that, when it’s all about feeling your team colors, everything else is a bonus. 

The importance of logos

Of course, don’t forget that creating a visual identity for a brand includes designing a logo of the highest quality. If the brand is a whole country, you better not get it wrong. 

Remember that the logo of this specific company has infinite merchandising possibilities and that a good template will facilitate the designer’s work to create a strong identity for such a sensitive and powerful brand like the one we are dealing with. 

One final comment about additions to logos. Undoubtedly, the United States logo would look amazing with an added star (with everything that implies). 

Who will you be supporting this year?