First aired in 2001, The World Game is a television show broadcast on SBS — Australia’s public broadcasting radio, online, and television network — that brings the world of soccer to Australians. Originally a 6-hour block, the show is now just a 30-minute show but it has ballooned as a digital-first platform with a major online presence and mobile app. Ahead of its increased coverage coming in 2018 for the World Cup, The World Game recently introduced a new identity designed by Sydney-based Frost* Design.
The new identity, inspired by the football’s keystone shape, represents The World Game as the ‘home’ of football and the most culturally diverse and inclusive sport on the planet. The pentagon also doubles to represent a ‘home’, a message that is neatly reinforced through the stacked brand lettering. Additionally, as a nod of respect to its past and to acknowledge his historic contribution to the game, we integrated broadcast audio from the legendary Les Murray into the brand’s titles.
It might seem odd to give so much attention in a Reviewed post to a show on a channel but I think the solution is rather exciting in application and commendable in the logo, considering the limitation of having to build in SBS’ own logo into this logo. The old one was a fairly complicated concoction of stuff and finishes and even though the SBS logo was extra large, it was hard to discern under all that graphic gloss and inside the ghastly shield shape.
The new logo introduces a bold wordmark that has enough body to sustain the attack of the SBS logo — maybe Australians are now conditioned to ignore it, like parsley on a plate — and enough personality to stand on its own. The main attraction is the replacement of the “O” with the keystone shape found in soccer balls around the world, making it an instantly recognizable element. The execution of it is just right too… it could have been made as big as the other letters but that would have ruined the effect. I also like how they equalized the “THE”, that before sat in a silly banner and broke the name of the show. Without the SBS logo this would be a killer wordmark because even though it doesn’t say “soccer” or “football” anywhere it reads instantly as such.
The identity explodes the keystone mark into an exciting set of patterns that interact with each other as if they were on an actual ball, rotating around an invisible sphere. The way the simple patterns of lines and dots interact is a fresh take on, well, simple patterns of lines and dots. The green/yellow fluorescent color is a little jarring after a while but in terms of demanding attention, it gets the job done.
On the air, the identity has a great energy, especially when the patterns interact with typography. The visual language extends decently into more information-dense screens for scores and tables, all using the angles of the keystone shape as a way to unify all the graphics. Overall, I think this provided a fresh perspective on a sports package — considering the recent coverage of projects like Sky Sports and Eurosport Olympics — that, even though it’s still operating under similar aesthetics, it managed to introduce some original ideas and executions.