Sunday, December 01, 2013

Starting XI: Federation Badges, We'll Miss Next Summer

In our Happy Trails series we've profiled the teams who won't be at next summer's world cup, and in the process highlighted a few awesome federation logos of teams that didn't make the grade. In that spirit here's a special recognition for the well designed, if not the terribly talented.

I. Pakistan--I'm not sure if it's the flaming soccerball's definitely the flaming soccer ball. Pakistan's badge looks like something that would be batted around an MLS expansion team office in the late 90s. Only better because they all hold on to it.

II. Anguila--When Anguila was ousted I said that I shared the mourning of Three Dolphins supporters, not least because they seemed to have captured Flipper in mid-flip. I have expect the subtitle of this badge to be "So Long, and Thanks for All the Futbol"

III. Palestine--The Palestinian national side isn't so much a nation and isn't so much a side as it is a collection of people with Palestinian heritage who take time out of their doctoring, lawyering and all around livelihoods to play against the big boys of Asian futbol. Hopefully, some day, this logo is an aspirational target for young athletes in the disputed territory--the swooping arcs seem enticing enough to me.

IV. Azerbaijan--Similar to the Pakistani logo, I appreciate a little bit of the "ball on fire" motif. But it's nice that the Azerbaijani powers that be chose to have the ball falling rather than soaring, and allowed the flames to match the national flag.

Shirt badge/Association crest
V. Solomon Islands--The first of two circa 70's era emblems, The Solomon islands manage to work in the colors of the flag in a new and intriguing way while still having an ample amount of style (between the stripes, the stars, and the stylistic "S") it looks a little like a Cable News logo (assuming that all cable news was run out of the Solomon Islands)
VI. Czech Republic--National FA emblems are about the last vestige of the "animal rampant" style that dominates so may family crests. What's great about the lion for the Czech logo is both the double tail and heavy mane as well as the color palette mixing and matching red white and blue (even if it does skew a little too close to Pepsi for copy right lawyers.

VII. Dominican Republic--Speaking of the Red, White and Blue, here's another play on those colors from the Caribbean. Baseball is king in the Dominican, but soccer continues to make inroads. The structure of the FA's logo is unlike almost anything else out there. The cup looks aspirational (even if the "D" seems to have been an after thought), and the island outline in the middle of the ball is a nice way to make clear who is playing here.
File:Federatia Romana de fotbal.png

VIII. Romania--One of the more recent eliminations, I'm a big fan of the Romanian spinning wheel of death motif. The whirling colors make for a nice piece of perspective, as if there's an entire universe spinning around the ball (something the New York Cosmos also use to great effect). The simple primary colors of the national flag, and the language surrounding the claim are perfect for a classic, timeless look.

IX. Benin--The second 70s era logo, Benin's choice uses the ball more pointedly than the others did, turning it into a "b" for "Federation Beninoise". I said when they were eliminated that it looked like a soccer version of the Montreal Expos, or Milwaukee Breweres logo, something that both covered the letters of the location and team and also evoked the sport (with gloves and balls implied in both)


X. Guatemala--The most decidedly postmodern of all the federation logos, Guatemala has a sweeping set of arcs that seem to be at once a parrot, a ball, a keeper mid-savea gigantic eyeball, or god knows what. Whatever it is, it definitely stands out and signifies that Guatemala is a serious country...for artistes nouveau.

XI. Senegal--Finally there's this from Senegal. Like Guatemala they eschewed the standard issue "letters and a ball" set up, for an implied ball that uses both national flag, the team mascot (a lion) and
a subtle connection to the African continent. It look slightly like an elementary art project, but that just reflects how soccer unites everyone and infuses a childlike joy.

So there you have it, the style champs we'll be rooting for on the Road to Russia

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