The official World Cup 2014 logo

The official Brazil 2014 logo

How was the 2014 logo chosen? And what exactly is it?

Bringing colour and character

The official World Cup logo is an important part of FIFA's branding strategy for the tournament. It may not be remembered as well as iconic goals, classic matches or the official mascot, but the emblem helps give the event its colour and character.

And getting the logo right is a key task in the modern era when merchandise and advertising are so important for the game's revenue. The emblem will be seen all around the world on all sorts of products, as big companies seek to get their brands associated with this global event.

Choosing the official 2014 World Cup logo

A total of 25 agencies in Brazil were invited to submit designs to FIFA and the Brazil Local Organising Committee.

More than 125 submissions were received and then a shortlist was drawn up before being presented to a judging panel, consisting of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, designer Hans Donner, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, author Paulo Coelho, singer/actress Ivete Sangalo as well as two footballing figures; Brazilian Football Federation president Ricardo Teixeira and FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke.

Teixeira suggested that the group was selected to represent a country that "introduced a new kind of modernity, based on human beings and their ability to overcome their differences".

Not everyone agreed. The Brazilian Graphic Designers Association complained that they had been excluded from the process, and acclaimed Brazilian graphic designer Alexandre Wollner said: "They don't respect the professionals, or professionalism."

The panel was asked to rate the designs, taking into account a number of factors including how it conveyed the spirit of Brazil and the country's connection with the World Cup, its creative and artistic merit and uniqueness.

Announcing the winner

The grand unveiling of the design took place at a special event in Johannesburg's Sandton Convention Centre two days before the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.

The winning design was created by Brazilian design agency Africa and was named 'Inspiration'. It is inspired by an iconic photograph of three hands together raising the world's most famous trophy while the interlinked hands symbolise unity.

With Brazil having won the World Cup five times - more than any other country - it a representation of the trophy in the logo was regarded as appropriate.

Green and yellow are the dominant colours, forming a link to the Brazilian national flag and football team kit and also symbolising the rainforests, beaches and sunshine for which the country is so famous. The year of the tournament also features on the emblem in red numbers.

Opinions on the 2014 logo

FIFA was delighted, its website stating: "The combination of the strong image, the contemporary typography and striking colours are extremely effective in depicting a modern and diverse host nation."

Of course, not everyone agrees. Controversy over the process for designing the emblem led to inevitable further criticism of the final design. The most widespread complaint is that hands are featured so prominently for the showpiece event of a sport which bans the use of hands for all players except goalkeepers.

Wollner stated: "If you look closer you will be able to see a face hiding behind a pair of hands in shame."

Numerous comparisons have been made with a facepalm, which is the gesture of placing the hand across the face to express frustration, disappointment or embarrassment.

Nevertheless, the official World Cup 2014 logo will be seen everywhere by the time the tournament begins and along with the official World Cup 2014 mascot it will be regarded as an important part of the colour and character of the tournament.