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A Look Into the Recently Unveiled EURO 2012 Logo

Being a big proponent of both European Football and skillfully crafted logo design, I was eager to see the next logo and slogan for the European football championships, EURO 2012, which had been unveiled this past week in downtown Kiev.

The logo itself depicts a three pronged stalk sprouting flowers on each branch. The left and right flowers centered around a central soccer ball are gilded in the colors of the Polish and Ukrainian flags, representing the two co-host countries of the tournament. 2012’s highly illustrative logo then sits atop the tagline “creating history together” referring to the fact that both countries are mutually hosting the first championship in central and eastern Europe.

UEFA president, Michel Platini, stated at the unveiling that the logo:

“Is the symbol that represents the identity of this tournament. This is not what makes a tournament… but the logo gives an idea of the energy that we want to put in…”

euro_2008Created by the Portuguese design group, Brandia Central, the logo promotes the visual identity of both host countries in an interesting aesthetic. Over the past decade I have seen these Euro Championship designs move closer to mere illustrations than strong logos, with this bloom inspired one for 2012 easily taking the cake. While yes, I think that this logo has a nice visual appeal, and aside from the obvious color representations of the two host countries, I was not initially sure what the flowers themselves were attempting to capture. Looking at the logo from the European Championships in 2008, it is clear that the intention was to represent the fact that host countries Austria and Switzerland not only share a border but also the iconic Alps mountain range.

Despite my initial assertions, the UEFA describes the bloom as being nature inspired:

“The ‘bloom’ logo has a flower representing each of the co-host nations and a central ball symbolising the emotion and passion of the competition, while the stem denotes the structural aspect of the competition, UEFA and European football. Nature has inspired other features of the visual identity, with woodland green, sun yellow, aqua blue, sky blue and blackberry purple being the crucial tones of the palette of colours to figure in official tournament branding.”

After a bit of research (thanks wikipedia!) I realized that the flowers of the logo share similarities to Polish wycinanki, which is a form of papercutting art that often uses flowers as the subject matter. The brand story video, which i did enjoy, shows these style flowers in the beginning of the tale, but overall my verdict is that it still seems a bit flimsy. Flowers and Football? You be the judge.

At a formal ceremony held in Ukraine’s capital city, members of the UEFA, Poland Soccer Federation and Ukrainian FA released the veil from atop the giant 3D replica of the logo in an awkward 3..2..1.. countdown.

Screencaps from the official UEFA unveiling video

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