We’ve talked a lot about World Cup logos on this blog lately, in part because the event happened only recently and in part because the most recent logos seem to be somewhat controversial. The latest World Cup logo to stir up controversy is that for Qatar’s World Cup bid.
Qatar is unique in that it already had a logo design for this event, but changed logos midstream. The original logo featured a design based on a pentagon shape. The design focused on thirty two of these shapes spiralling in toward a football. The pentagons represented the thirty-two qualifying nations, while their spiral inward represented the elimination process. The pentagon works well here and fits neatly into a tiled pattern similar to those seen in the Middle East, but also ties into the sport as it is a shape commonly seen on footballs.
The colour scheme is bright and cheery, with desert hues combined with a deep eggplant purple. Lower case lettering in an artistic font hinted at the exotic nature of the locale. In all, this was an attractive design that served Qatar well in its bid for the World Cup—but then it was abruptly changed.
The new logo design is a huge diversion from the original, although it is nonetheless is meaningful and attractive. The colours again are reminiscent of the desert, with warm, sunny hues dominating. The eggplant purple is used again as an accent colour. The calligraphy is in Arabic rather than Roman letters, which is a better representation of the host country. The main image is of three football players excitedly celebrating, giving a sense of energy to the design.
There are several reasons this new logo design was chosen over its predecessor. The people in charge felt that it best portrayed the support and affection of the many Qatari fans. Further, it had a different sort of Middle Eastern flair, specifically a more modern feeling rather than an ancient architectural sensibility.
Both logos are decidedly Middle Eastern, although they are otherwise very different. One is serious and patterned, while the other is jubilant and celebratory. While there is certainly something to be said for the graphic sensibility of the original, the new one is emotional and compelling in a very different way.
Football fans all over the globe are watching the World Cup bidding process this year due to the large amount of bidding teams. Will Qatar’s modern logo bring a World Cup to the Middle East for the first time? Only time will tell. However, Qatar feels like a solid choice due to the fact that they are from a region of the world where football is popular, but nonetheless one that has never hosted a World Cup.
A strong brand and national presence is necessary in order to secure this event. With a logo design that can serve as the basis of a brand that football fans can believe in, Qatar seems likely to be selected or at least be a strong runner up.