Designing for the World Cup 2014

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international men’s association football tournament that is scheduled to take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. Brazil was elected unchallenged as host nation in 2007 after the international football federation, FIFA, decreed that the tournament would be staged in South America for the first time since 1978 in Argentina, and the fifth time overall.

With this amazing event on the scope, we are definitely researching all the designs created to bring the FIFA World Cup to life. Logo, video game, ball, trophy, shirts and much more; lets discover them. The Official Logo forms the cornerstone of the event’s brand identity. From the fans to the commercial affiliates and every single piece of event merchandise, this logo represents the association with football’s flagship event and lives on long after it is over, logged in the memories of everyone involved. The winning nation’s especially.

FIFA World Cup Logos

Past World Cup Logos

Role of the logo

  • provide a strong, visual representation of both the event and the host country

Selection Process

FIFA World Cup, when FIFA and the Brazil Local Organizing Committee (LOC) had to consider how to characterize a nation as colorful and vibrant as Brazil – a country with a rich traditional cultural heritage, yet rapidly emerging as one of the world’s most modern and influential economies.
  • 25 Brazilian-based agencies submit designs for the Official Emblem of the 2014
  • over 125 submissions were received by the time of the competition’s closing date
  • reviewed by FIFA and the LOC and eventually reduced to a shortlist of designs.

Who picked the official Logo?

The task of picking the winner was awarded to a high-profile seven-strong judging panel, largely selected from the host country. 
  1. Architect Oscar Niemeyer
  2. Designer Hans Donner
  3. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen
  4. Author Paulo Coelho
  5. Singer/Actress Ivete Sangalo
  6. Football figure Ricardo Teixeira
  7. FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke


The winner logo

When the process was completed, all the scores were added together and the winning design – created by Brazilian design agency Africa – was revealed.
  • Title: Inspiration
  • Inspiration: from an iconic photograph of three victorious hands together raising the world’s most famous trophy
  • Simbols: the portrayal of the hands is symbolic of the yellow and green hands of Brazil warmly welcoming the world to Brazil
  • Elements: victory and union
  • Colors: yellow and green
  • Typography: contemporary
  • Message: the unique bond between FIFA, the FIFA World Cup and Brazil

The message that is clear from this emblem is the idea of the unique bond between FIFA, the FIFA World Cup™ and Brazil.

What do you think about the logo? Do you like it?

How much is too much whitespace?

My last post opened the amazing topic of whitespace or “negative space” as some may call it. This topic have a big connotation and can be source of many debates on how much is too much.

Today we are going to review some facts and opinions about whitespace, this will help us determine  how much is too much?

Clients usually like to use all the space you have available for them, at the end, they are paying for it. But we all know that’s not always the best option even if they are paying; a crowded design is not always effective. Whitespace is probably one of the most overlooked and underutilized concepts in design, every design has whitespace, but the problem is that not every design has enough. The truth is, whitespace might be one of the most valuable parts of your design.

HBO marketing campaign using a big deal of whitespace

HBO marketing campaign using a big deal of whitespace

Let’s think about this, you’re in a store. It wouldn’t be a pleasant experience if you had trouble moving around due to the overcrowded aisles, alongside the sales assistant constantly prompting you with their special offers. There’s just too much to look at and you have neither the time nor the patience to find what you originally came in looking for. It’s not nice, it is not productive. This is one of the key features of why Apple stores work so well. They’re very minimalist and a large amount of the shop floor is given to the products themselves.

Now, what does that have to do with design? A lot actually. We don’t come for the task of hunting out a specific string of text underneath a wealth of pointless content you don’t care about. Negative space helps with both of these problems by leaving designs uncluttered at the same time as drawing attention to the focal point of the page.

No matter how badly you want to just fill up the entire space allotted for your design try hard not to do it. Negative space isn’t negative in the least, and it can make your designs look a lot more professional. With the endless advantages of using negative space effectively, you should stop avoiding negative space and embrace it head on. Hopefully I’ve been able to reduce your fears about negative space in your designs and you are on your way to creating some great design projects.


Starbucks designs are great on whitespace

These are the facts, but more so this is my personal opinion, can you have too much white space? No you can’t

What do you think about it? Are the examples in this article representatives of too much whitespace or are they effective designs?

One upset designer (rightfully?)

American Airlines is one of a handful of brands that are considered true american icons, its namesake gives a sense of possibility, inspires deep loyalty and today, the company also invested in that most american of ideals: progress. Two years ago American Airlines decide to redesign their iconic logo and marketing products. As every rebranding process, it was a slow and methodical push for change that was accepted and welcomed by the management. The branding agency picked to execute this was Futurebrand,who strived to create a modern look for the iconic brand.

Early this year the new logo was unveiled. This as an ambitious rebranding and marketing campaign called “A New American,” a reference to the new look and a new spirit as the company has emerged from bankruptcy. American Airlines has adopted a new minimal logo, dropping the overt eagle for a more seamless design.

American Airline New Logo

AA New Logo by Futurebrand

This is the corporation’s first rebrand in over 40 years. The original logo was created by designer Massimo Vignelli, who designed for high profile clients like IBM and Bloomingdale’s. The design legend is not a fan of the new corporate identity that replaces the one he created 45 years ago, since the logo is intended to be a sort of 21st-century amalgamation of many of the elements of Vignelli’s much-loved marque: the eagle, the letter A, the red, white and blue livery, and the star. Indeed, Vignelli recently told BusinessWeek that the FutureBrand version “has no sense of permanence” and that the replacement for Helvetica “is not as good or as powerful.”

AA Vignelli's Logo

AA Vignelli’s Logo

He also said:

“There was no need to change. It’s been around for 45 years. Every other airline has changed its logo many times, and every time was worse than the previous one. This is the typical mistake that company presidents make: “I’ll change the logo, and the company will look new.” What you have to have is a president who knows how to run the company, and in that process knows how to evaluate the brand identity. Otherwise it becomes a wolf camouflaged by sheep. It’s still the same company that’s not going to be successful.

“The American flag has 13 stripes, right? Not 11. Did American add only 11 stripes [to the flag on the tail] because they are in Chapter 11? I don’t think two more stripes would have been a disaster. And there are only two colours shown instead of all three. So is it a different flag?”They’re not going to solve their problems, they’re just going to increase their costs. As you know, one of the great things about American Airlines was that the planes were unpainted. The paint adds so much weight that that brings an incredible amount of fuel consumption. For some reason they decided to paint the plane. The fact is, weight is weight. Design is much more profound. Styling is very much emotional. Good design isn’t—it’s good forever. It’s part of our environment and culture. There’s no need to change it. The logo doesn’t need change. The whole world knows it, and there’s a tremendous equity. It’s incredibly important on brand recognition. I will not be here to make a bet, but this (new logo) won’t last another 25 years.”

What do you think about American Airlines rebranding? Do you think Vignelli is rightfully upset? How do you feel when a company rebrands your material?

Choosing between Serif or Sans Serif

Last week I was talking with a colleague, young designer who was curious about the idea of Serif and Sans Serif. We got into a log conversation, that could probably had no end. Then I remembered writing this article a while ago where we discuss the diference between Serif and Sans Serif.

Typefaces can be divided into two main categories: Serif and Sans serif. Serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. The printing industry refers to typeface without serifs as sans serif (from French sans, meaning without).

Ancient wisdom tells us that we should use sans-serif fonts for titles, headers, and other short blocks of text, and serif fonts for the main body of the document. The reasoning behind this has to do with the purpose of the serifs. The serifs on the letters are designed to pull the text together, making it easier for your eye to transition from one letter to the next, then from one word to the next. In effect, the serifs ‘pull’ you through the document, and in doing so make the text easier to read. Therefore, long blocks of text will be easier to read if they are written with a serif font. Sans-serif fonts work well in short blocks of larger text, what you would typically find in titles and headings.

Great variety exists among both serif and sans serif typefaces. Both groups contain faces designed for setting large amounts of body text, and others intended primarily as decorative. The presence or absence of serif forms is only one of the many factors to consider when choosing a typeface.

In traditional printing, serif fonts are used for body text because they are considered easier to read than sans-serif fonts and thus are the primary choice for lengthy text printed in books, newspapers and magazines. Sans-serif fonts are more often used in headlines, headings, and shorter pieces of text and subject matter requiring a more casual feel than the formal look of serifed types.

Typefaces with serifs are often considered easier to read in long passages than those without. However, studies on this matter are ambiguous, suggesting that most of this effect is due to the greater familiarity of serif typefaces. As a general rule, printed works such as newspapers and books almost always use serif typefaces, at least for the text body. Web sites do not have to specify a font and can simply respect the browser settings of the user. But of those web sites that do specify a font, most use modern sans serif fonts, because it is commonly believed that, in contrast to the case for printed material, sans serif fonts are easier than serif fonts to read on the low-resolution computer screen.

Serif fonts can be broadly classified in one of four groups:

Old Style

Examples of old style typefaces include Garamond, Goudy Old Style, and Palatino.


Common examples include Bodoni, Didot, and Computer Modern.


They are among the most common, including such widespread typefaces as Times New Roman and Baskerville.

Slab Serif

Examples of slab serif typefaces include Clarendon, Rockwell and Courier.

 Sans Serif fonts can be classified in one of four groups:


A few examples are Akzidenz Grotesk, and Franklin Gothic.


Examples include modern designs such as MS Sans Serif, Helvetica, Univers and Arial.


A few examples include Calibri, Lucida Grande, Segoe UI, Myriad, Frutiger, Tahoma and Verdana.


A few examples are Futura, ITC Avant Garde, and Century Gothic.

So what does this mean to you? Well, it always seems to come back to the primary purpose of the document. If you are creating something whose primary purpose is to be printed on paper, then the typical sans serif for titles and headers, serif for the body of the text is probably best. However, if you’re creating something that will primarily be viewed on the computer, you are probably better off sticking with a sans-serif font for everything.

Graphic Design Vocabulary – Typography 3

typography tittle

In the last couple weeks we have learned typography terms that we commonly use and some others that never seen before. It is very important that we use them appropriately and educate our clients in the use of them, this can be the solution of misunderstandings between designers and clients.

Lets see the last post of vocabulary words for Typography.

Tracking, Kerning and Letterspacing – Tracking, kerning and letterspacing control the distance between characters. Tracking is adjusted to change the space between characters consistently across a block of text. Kerning is the reduction of space between characters, and letterspacing is the addition of space between characters.

Typeface – A typeface refers to a group of characters, such as letters, numbers, and punctuation, that share a common design or style. Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica and Courier are all typefaces.

Type Families – The different options available within a font make up a type family. Many fonts are at a minimum available in roman, bold and italic. Other families are much larger, such as Helvetica Neue, which is available in options such Condensed Bold, Condensed Black, UltraLight, UltraLight Italic, Light, Light Italic, Regular, etc.

Weight – Refers to the heaviness of the stroke for a specific font, such as Light, Regular, Book, Demi, Heavy,Black, and Extra Bold.

Width – Refers to whether the standard typeface has been extended or compressed horizontally. The common variations are Condensed, Normal, or Extended.

X-height – The x-height is the distance between the meanline and the baseline. It is referred to as the x-height because it is the height of a lowercase “x.” This height can vary greatly between typefaces.

 X Line  – A line marking the top of those lowercase letters, such as “x”, having no ascenders. The upper boundary of x-height.

As a giveaway we will also can find below a printable card with a list and definitions of symbols, how are they use and some examples.  Feel free to press over them and print them for your personal use.

symbols 1

symbols 2



Graphic Design Vocabulary – Typography 2

As promised last week we are helping you with more terminology on Typography.  Words that can help use communicate with other designers and also, help our clients understand some concepts that are foreign to their knowledge.

typography voc 3

typography voc 4


We still have one more week on Typography vocabulary.  Have you learned something new? Are these concepts useful on your design practice?