On a warm Los Angeles night, from the Griffiths Observatory overlooking the Hollywood sign, FIFA President Gianni Infantino unveiled the branding for the 2026 World Cup.

It is an important day in preparation for any big competition. a carnival-inspired trophy for the 2014 Brazil World Cup and a red, white and blue shield for the 1994 United States World Cup; The color scheme, logo and mascot will be tied to the competition they represent. It creates excitement and heightens excitement. This iteration, however, feels less inspired.

Unlike the stars and stripes that have graced the iconic logo since ’94, there’s nothing that screams America about this design. According to FIFA, branding is inclusive, simple and highly customizable. It’s a logo that can be easily transferred and used on merchandise, and there will be unique color schemes and slogans for each host city.

The athleticsQuick analysis:

This is it, really? Is this the real World Cup logo? The biggest sporting event in the world?

Yes, this is it. – Maurer

How does this compare to previous World Cup logos?

This in itself is vague and uncharacteristic of many previous editions. The competition was held in It was an instant success and over the following decades, the iconography and visual identity of the World Cup has evolved over time.

In the year It was Mexico in 1970, when the famous designer Lance Wyman took a stab at the design, creating a visual identity of focused, interlocking numbers and letters. The official logo and poster for that tournament, a simple, then-new adidas Telstar graphic, helped make the ball an instantly recognizable sporting tool. Other races followed suit – Italia 90 brought a subtle touch to things, and the 2018 A red, white and blue, American flag soccer ball flying above the red and white bars. Years later, the design remains iconic.

“We weren’t very subtle after all, were we?” Alan Rothenberg, then president of U.S. Soccer, said. The athletics last year. You see what we did with the logo – red, white, blue, the American flag and the soccer ball going through it, but not something abstract. We used to hit people between the eyes.

Lately, tournament logos have felt a bit standard, with the overall look of the logo being the Jules Rimet trophy.

They always include cultural elements of the host country. For example, in Qatar, the logo is modeled after a woolen shawl, a local traditional garment. In the year Bright red, gold, black and blue colors were seen in the 2018 World Cup Russia. FIFA, for its part, said it was inspired by centuries-old techniques in the world-renowned Russian art.

Hosted in three different countries, the logo for this tournament feels like a total exercise in “pure” design, the kind of thing we see a lot of these days. – Maurer

So why did they do that?

FIFA responded to the questions in a meeting with the national media on Wednesday. The motivation behind the design is to make the brand inclusive and simple and highly customizable across multiple platforms, an official said. They wanted to bring the World Cup trophy to the forefront of the logo, FIFA said, and create a system that could be reused in future tournaments and feel “iconic” across all age groups.

The simplicity of the design is a characteristic of FIFA, not a flaw. You’ll see the Plain-Jane logo emblazoned on the front of sweatshirts, hats, shoes, jerseys at the tournament…everywhere. There are variations of the logo where the “26” is divided into 16 grids, 16 representing the host cities and further iterations with 48 panels representing the teams in the tournament. FIFA has created a unique color palette and design inserts for each host city. The home logo, however, remains the same.

Fifa representatives said the logo design process was led by their own internal brand team, with input from several consulting agencies, but declined to name those. – Maurer

What other path could they have taken?

Canada has never hosted a World Cup, but the US and Mexico have, and in 2011 FIFA may consider re-reading or re-imagining existing visual identities or creating a different logo version for each host nation. Instead, the armor feels hollow and lifeless. Who knows, maybe it will grow on us. let’s see. – Maurer

What are they saying?

CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani said Wednesday’s launch event was “a little bit different from last year’s city launches.”

“This is the first before 2026, and there will be many more after that. “Obviously the cities are really excited, they’re really behind it,” he added. “They got elected last year and now they’re getting their feathers going with colors and things like that. And so it’s really exciting. And I think, obviously, we’ve got a lot of work to do moving forward, but I feel like it’s just a start.

Montagliani also spoke of the US-Mexico hopes of hosting the 2027 Women’s World Cup.

“It’s a process. It’s obviously fun. Two countries you know have facilities and a history of organizing. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “So there’s a whole process behind it, we’re behind it, CONCACAF is behind it. And let’s see what happens.

Montagliani added that the issues of coverage of the Women’s World Cup were discussed. “(Discussions) have started, I must say, at a different level,” he said. “So it’s moving and I think it’s important to understand where we’re coming from here. We’re investing in the women’s game, we’re investing in women’s football.

Infantino touched on safety and security concerns about the 2026 race.

“Qatar is small, especially compared to North America. We organized that with the authorities, with the local authorities, but also with the police authorities from all the participating countries. We have developed a really, really strong and powerful working relationship and everything went very, very smoothly in terms of security in the World Cup. I’m sure the same thing will happen here.

“We came here to bring happiness and excitement and happiness to our people, to the local people in America and North America, to our communities from all over the world, and also to the fans from abroad. Now, three years ago, we are working with police officials, government officials from the three countries and those who participate to make it peaceful. .

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(Photo: Harold Cunningham / FIFA via Getty Images)

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