Every four years, the FIFA Women’s World Cup gives all of us something to get excited about, with many of the best soccer players on the planet facing off to bring home the gold for their country. There is no bigger stage for the sport and female athletes, in particular, to shine in ways our society so often makes so arduous.
As the countdown to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand continues (with kickoff slated for that July), our anticipation has been satiated at least for now with the tournament’s official logo, design, and the slogan “Beyond Greatness” dropping last week.
“It was really important that we had a brand that is truly global, but also represents uniquely the two host countries,” said FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer and New Zealander Sarai Bareman during FIFA’s broadcast for the official branding announcement.
The unabashedly colorful, vibrant, and celebratory branding was brought to life by the Toronto-based studio Public Address and LA agency Works Collective who had previously joined forces to create the branding for the LA2028 Olympics. The collaborative creative team worked closely with FIFA and two local women artists from Australia and New Zealand respectively, who were uniquely positioned to imbue the design with cultural motifs and intimacy.
Aboriginal artist Chern’ee Sutton represented the Australian side of the design. She created a collection of patterns, the first of which came composed of U-shapes, ovals, and lines meant to resemble circles of sitting figures, traditional tools used by women called digging sticks, and coolamons (an Aboriginal carrying vessel). Another of her patterns features intersecting dotted circles symbolizing the various communities that will come together for WWC23.
Māori textile artist Fiona Collis took on the New Zealand elements of the branding and found inspiration in traditional weaving techniques and the natural wonders of the country. Configuring repeating triangles to form squares, Collis set out to evoke the power of a uniting collective by abstractly alluding to the co-host city’s many mountains.
The branding’s bespoke typeface was devised by New Zealand type designer Alistair McCready, with letters that are bold, modern, and dynamic. The letterforms themselves harken to the squares used in the tournament’s radial logo.
The WWC23 logo is a departure from World Cup logos of the past, which typically include depictions of the trophy. To set this one apart, both agencies opted to once again pay homage to the cultures of the host nations by using a circular, radial motif commonly used in both New Zealand and Australia. The emblem encapsulates the spirit and values of the region radiating back out into the world, with soccer at its core.
Meanwhile, the patchwork of 32 squares in the logo represents the 32 nations competing in the tournament. The logo design is all the more rich that the project team was composed of artists from over ten countries, hinting at how global collaboration is central to WWC23.
The overarching color palette used throughout the branding system came from Public Address, who selected each hue from both Australia and New Zealand’s rich landscapes, including their rainforests, earth, mountains, water, and cities. The resulting bright pink, red, green, orange, and yellow color scheme is uplifting and joyful, capturing the spirit of the host countries and the tournament itself.
FIFA unveiled a soulful launch film along with the tournament brand identity last week. Backed by a spunky, swelling soundtrack entitled “Unity” from electronic musician and producer Kelly Lee Owens and with the “Beyond Greatness” slogan as the main refrain throughout the minute-long video, it’s virtually impossible to watch without getting goosebumps.
“It’s a movement, and we need everyone to be a part of this,” Bareman said at the end of the FIFA broadcast. “Women’s football and what we’re trying to achieve for women in society is absolutely massive. And the platform of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is the biggest platform that we have to achieve those objectives.”
I don’t know about you, but consider my cleats laced!