There are lots of articles in the press and the www that say “It looks like someone holding their head in their hand”.

This highlights one of the problems with design and branding.

The only time you see branding in the press, the only time it gets really talked about is when someone is taking the p*ss out of it, it looks like something it shouldn’t, or ‘it cost HOW much?’

The Fedex logo has a subtle idea in the form of an arrow which is hidden within the negative spaces of the letters. Very often an identity has a ‘discover it over time’ subtle added meaning, but it is intended. Often this approach has been criticized in the past as clients cry ‘oh, don’t bother with it, no-one will ever get it’.

Clearly this demonstrates that people will.

Sports event branding is normally rubbish. The branding is forced to communicate too much through poor briefs. Logo’s are a bit like men. they can’t multi-task. They can only do one or two things at a time, otherwise they end up crap.

This identity is better than the norm, but the problem lies in the brief. If the brief was ‘Design the identity for the world cup that is being held in the country that has laid it’s hands on the trophy more times than any other’ (A bit of Bob Gill rational there) then it could have been brilliant (but it would have been brilliant if they had made it out of 5 hands…or to be really cheeky, 6 as they have won it 5 times already).

But I get the impression the brief was ‘Design the identity for the world cup in Brazil in 2014. It has to capture the spirit of Brazil, it has to feel light and sunny, it has to be friendly, feel modern and have movement, it should feel inclusive, like Brazillian society…yadda yadda yadda.

You get all those messages from the Brazillian flag, because you associate Brazil WITH those things. A flag tells you who they are in a distinctive and relevant way. That’s pretty much it. The flag is the ‘logo’, Brazil is the brand. The identifying marque (a logo or symbol), does the same job as a flag. The other brand messages are communicated by an identifying marques association with the brand.

When you are briefing a designer, keep it simple. Decide the one or two messages that sum up your business. One of them should be related to an earlier post of ours: People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Simple ideas work best, and simple ideas come out of simple, clear briefs.

We should have ended this blog entry there, but what the heck. We hope that this next world cup embraces eco-friendly design. Brazil has a great history of being aware of it’s environment and great design. This is a great opportunity for Brazil to show the way. Lastly, we hope Holland decide to play football like good people rather than whatever that was supposed to be against Spain.