In Minneapolis a team of six young designers have given themselves the task of re-imagining all 32 NFL football logos as European football club badges. Soccer that is. They are going to do this 4 times to represent the German, English, Spanish, and Italian styles. I played soccer from elementary school through my senior year in high school. And I must say I was pretty good since I made varsity as a freshman (If I don’t speak about my glory days no one else will). This project helped me realize how shameful my knowledge of the world soccer scene is even as a former soccer player. I could not have even named the top four European leagues, much less be able to distinguish their badge style from each other.
The project is far from over. Only one of the logos for each team is complete at this point and they are dispersed between the four styles. I admit I can hardly recognize any distinguishing factors at this point. It appears that Spanish styles tend to go with stripes more. German maybe with harsher, bolder edges. We will see how wrong I am as the project progresses. As far as a critique of the European aesthetic in general, there seems to be little variation in line width. This makes the badges look a little bland to me. I believe this to be a criticism of European design more than these American artists. They are probably being faithful to the look. If you look at the Sporting KC logo for the MLS, for example, there is a lot of variation in line width. I think this makes it look more dynamic, although I am sure I am being a little ethnocentric at the moment. This is probably an “Americanized” version of the european style, much like we developed the fortune cookie and Tex-Mex. This seems like a really fun project to be a part of and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.