In the amazingly distant past of 2009 we covered the design of the EURO 2012 identity (and its follow-up) designed by Lisbon-based Brandia Central, who have also designed the identity for EURO 2016. As a refresher: The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has been around since 1954. It is comprised of 53 European associations and is headquartered in Nyon, Switzerland. Since 1960, UEFA has held one of their Pan European competitions, the UEFA European Football Championship, every four years in member countries, most recently in Austria/Switzerland (2008) and Poland/Ukraine (2012). France will host the 2016 championship and will include 24 teams as opposed to the usual 16, meaning more visitors. Brandia Central’s design revolves around France’s artistic reputation.
The mixture of both quantity and quality in one of the most important sporting events of the world demanded a brand approach like never before. Combining the festivity and the “footballness” of a UEFA tournament with the sophisticated and exquisite taste of France, this event needed a créme de la créme brand. The starting point was the theme “Celebrating the Art of the Football”.
The animation is really the best part of it all. It helps establish the concept and bring it to life in a visually catchy way. The initial tricks of building the typography out of wiggles and doodads is pretty hypnotic. It then goes into a few tacky effects and styles but once you realize it’s all about showcasing the different art expressions and movements you sort of buy into it — except the 3D players, those are just weird. But the logo won’t always come with a two-minute animation…
In addition to branding the tournament, it’s a celebration of football as a form of art, inspired by the artistic references Frances has showcased to the world. […] To depict art in one symbol, we followed the most inclusive of art approaches: eclecticism. Inspired by several art movements, the logotype combines distinct backgrounds, from fauvism to abstractionism, from France’s flag to football icons.
The logo on its own — in all its Pixar-ness — is surprisingly interesting and it definitely leans into the artsier spectrum of sports logos. Most of the ingredients and wiggles and doodads are non-decipherable but as a whole the logo looks French (red, white, and blue), it looks festive, and it clearly indicates championship with the Henri Delaunay Cup smack in the middle.
In application, there are more wiggles and doodads in the form of a controlled but chaotic background full of said wiggles and doodads that looks pretty nice as a subtle color-on-color application. There is also a secondary graphic in the form of a 3D pitch with — guess what? — more wiggles and doodads. It’s a fun piece of illustration, if a little corny. The range of applications shown are brief but promising and indicate that there is more to be explored in how it all comes together. Overall, despite my initial averse reaction to such a caricatured approach, this identity looks like a heck of fun to do and to experience come 2016.
Thanks to Georg "schui" Baumann for the tip.