UEFA Euro 2016 identity ‘celebrates the art of football’

Portuguese consultancy Brandia Central has designed the UEFA Euro 2016 identity, which is based around the theme of ‘Celebrating the Art of Football’.

The Euro 2016 identity
The Euro 2016 identity

The tournament will be held in France, and the identity was unveiled this morning by UEFA President Michael Platini, president of the French Football Federation Noel Le Graet, and other football dignitaries.

Brandia was appointed following its work on the Euro 2012 identity.

The consultancy’s theme for 2016 brings together ‘the creativity which defines French culture with the beauty of the game,’ according to creative director Miguel Viana.

The logo, in the colours of the French flag, is a representation of different art movements and facets of the game. It is set in a roundel, and shows pitch markings as well as referencing the likes of the Avant Garde, Art Deco, and Art Brut.

The central image is the Henri Delaunay Trophy and the hexagonal shapes symbolise patches on a football and also ‘L’Hexagone’, (the French word for France on a map).

On the understanding ‘France has long been a source of inspiration for artists worldwide,’ it will now ‘provide the perfect canvas for football,’ says Viana.

In addition to the logo, a separate visual identity has been developed as ‘an artistic representation of football.’ It assumes Arc De Triomphes for goal posts and a pitch surrounded by scenes of festivity.

The secondary 'Arc de Triomphe' identity
The secondary ‘Arc de Triomphe’ identity

A graphic pattern has been developed which meshes the artistic elements of the logo into ‘a harmonious composition.’  

The graphic pattern
The graphic pattern

Q&A with Miguel Viana, creative director of Brandia Central.

DW: You also designed the Euro 2012 branding. Did you win 2016 on the strength of that or did you have to pitch?

MV: It was a new pitch which we won on creative and credentials. It was over two phases – with a six-month  pitch – and we started a year-and-a-half ago.

DW: What did UEFA want you to address and include in the design?

MV: There was a triangle of three things: Uefa values, Euro values and the country that is organising the event, France. Euro 2012 was a case study for them – and for us it meant that we needed to exceed the expectations of 2012.

DW: Tell us about the design concept.

MV: Thinking about the triangle briefing we reached a simple conclusion. France has long been the epicentre of culture, it has a magnetism for painters, musicians and sculptors who come to France to do their work. We tried to empower that idea and asked ’How can we create a parallel between art and football?’ We developed sentences: ‘Stadiums become stages; Fans become singers; Players become artists; and the pitch becomes a canvas.’ The concept is about eclecticism, different art movements and the inspiration taken from each of them. But they had to synchronise themselves in a way that would make a logo. You can see these geometric artistic elements and recognise it’s about football – like the centre-circle.

DW: How will we see it used and applied as the tournament progresses?

MV: There are primary, secondary, and tertiary elements. The logo is a very different environment [to the identity] where there’s an artistic graphic language with equities like the [Arc de Triomphe] goal. Then there are more graphic compositions and also a brand movie. The graphic DNA creates coherence though and you’ll always see the logo at the stat and the finish [of any animated material.] [Even the static elements] have movement and know how to behave, and how to maintain the brand personality. The graphic language is dynamic and always moving.

DW: Presumably the design has to represent the home nation France and the tournament but also have wider appeal – across Europe, and globally. Is it difficult to find a balance and reconcile those stakeholders?

MV: The idea is that everybody knows the importance of France in culture, and the main message, whch is – French culture is inspiration – can be understood by everybody. You don’t need to know each detail  about French culture to understand that. It’s also a mass consumer mark. And this is the last Euro to be organised by one country so it finalises the cycle.

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