Each World Cup from 1950 onwards had its own logo. The first three did not have logos, but posters instead. The logos represent a mixture of the sport and the host country. In this post, we analyzed the logos and compared them with criterion about what we agree is a good logo. So, what is a good logo?
Of course, there is no simple answer. A good logo can be many things, but a few key characteristics include that it should be:
Other factors important to logo design include colors, spacing, and font style. Examples of simple logos are McDonald’s golden arches and Nike’s swoosh. The logo by Apple Inc. is symbolic in that it represents the name of the company. A recognizable logo is one that is easily identifiable and one that we thought fit this characteristic well is the red-lettered Coca-Cola logo. Lastly, the logos should represent what they stand for.
First World Cup Logo | Brazil 1950
Making a good logo is not easy and with the World Cup, many parties may have a say in what should be in the logo. The logo from the 1950 event held in Brazil was more like a poster. It included text, several colors, and details such as a ball, leg, and background depiction.
World Cup Logo | Switzerland 1954
The first World Cup logo to be less like a poster was the one for Switzerland in 1954. You can clearly see the association to the host country’s flag. The outline of the logo has text in German, French, and Italian, symbolic to the country’s three largest languages.
World Cup Logo | Sweden 1958
The 1958 logo for the World Cup held in Sweden went back to the style of a poster. The top of the poster states where and when the event took place, VM would be WC (World Cup) in English, and fotboll is of course football. The color scheme is also symbolic to Sweden.
World Cup Logo | Chile 1962
The 1962 World Cup was held in Chile. You can see that they refer to the Rimet Cup, which was in place until the current World Cup Trophy was given in 1974. The logo furthermore depicts a stadium and Chile’s flag. The top of the spherical background looks like a football and the bottom like a globe, which are symbolic to the event.
World Cup Logo | England 1966
The 1966 World Cup logo clearly identifies with the host nation, England. The center of the logo shows the Challenger football used for the event, the Rimet Cup, and another symbol.
World Cup Logo | Mexico 1970
World Cup 1970 shows a simple, clear logo. Compared with the previous event’s logo, this one does not appear to associate with the host other than the name of the country on it. It is less colorful than many other World Cup logos, but its simplicity makes it easier to remember.
World Cup Logo | West Germany 1974
The World Cup held in 1974 enjoyed a logo that simple like the previous one and depicts a ball with some swooshes, the letters WM, and 74. The numbers obviously relate to the year in which the event was held, and WM symbolize WC (World Cup) in English. A special font has also been selected so that the “W” is different than in many fonts and now looks like an upside down “M.”
World Cup Logo | Argentina 1978
The 1978 World Cup, Argentina had a logo with the flags of all the countries that took part in the final football event. Even though the Tango ball was used, the iconic Telstar ball is depicted in the center. This logo relates to the host country in that the central part of it features blue lines.
World Cup Logo | Spain 1982
World Cup 1982 held in Spain features a logo similar to the previous one. This one, however, is more directly related to the host country with its name and flag being central elements and the flags secondary.
World Cup Logo | Mexico 1986
The next World Cup, held in 1986, was hosted by Mexico. This can be seen in the logo itself. Less obvious are Mexico’s colors that are also represented; red, white, and green. This logo went back to more simple standards. This does not mean that the logo is bad; it may be easier to remember.
World Cup Logo | Italy 1990
With World Cup 1990 held in Italy, one of the most striking features of the simple logo is the font. This makes the logo stand out amongst the others. Again, with the logo, the national colors of green, white, and red are evident.
World Cup Logo | USA 1994
This logo of World Cup 1994 is typical of its host nation. The national flag is evident by creatively linking it to the sport. It appears as if different font (styles) have been used in the top of the logo to make things stand out more clearly.
World Cup Logo | France 1998
World Cup 1998 held in France again has a logo that noticeably depicts its national colors: blue, white, and red. Up until this logo, the Telstar logo was used and this is the first one depicting the Tango ball which was used in the world cups from 1978 to 1998.
World Cup Logo | Korea and Japan 2002
The logo for the World Cup in Korea & Japan in 2002 appeared to start a new trend in more complicated designs and colorful logos. It is hard to see the symbolism, but the host nations’ colors, among other colors, are there.
World Cup Logo | Germany 2006
World Cup 2006, held in Germany had a logo that was colorful as the previous logo was. The three colors of the national flag are shown as well as several other symbols. You would get the idea that it is a very happy event with the smiling faces.
World Cup Logo | South Africa 2010
For the World Cup about to start this year, the organization has yet again come up with a colorful logo with a lot to it. It appears as if the African continent is even on the logo along with South Africa’s national colors. The on the logo does not depict the one that will be used during the event, but rather the essence of an iconic football.
What do you think of the World Cup logos? Do you like them or did you even remember what they looked like before seeing them here? Do you think they are simple, symbolic, recognizable, and representative or do you even have different characteristics or requirements for a good logo?