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Kicking goals

New logo for Football Federation Australia by Hulsbosch

Football Federation Australia logo before and after
Football Federation Australia logo before and after

Football Federation Australia (FFA) is the governing body of football in Australia, and is a member of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body for football. FFA oversees the men’s, women’s, youth, Paralympic, beach and futsal national teams in Australia, the national coaching programs and the state governing bodies for the sport. It sanctions professional, semi-professional and amateur football in our country. It also organises several national competitions, including the top-division A-League. FFA made the decision to leave the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), for which it was a founding member, and become a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on 1 January 2006. (Wikipedia)

Old Football Federation Australia logo
Old logo

The old logo’s “ribbon ball” was… interesting, let’s say. The tip of the ribbon sticking out gave the impression of unravelling and lent some energy to the ball. Cool. I question the blue and yellow colour combination, though, as I wasn’t sure how they related to either football or Australia. Upon further investigation, it seems that blue and yellow were among a number of colour combinations that unofficially represented Australia prior to 1984, due to its presence on the Coat of Arms. Still, that yellow-to-darker-yellow gradient in the logo was unappealing.

Placed on the ribbon was the Crux constellation, commonly known as the Southern Cross. For international readers, the Southern Cross does have great significance in Australian culture. Most notably, it appears heraldically on our national flag. Just as the shape of the Sydney Opera House is a shorthand for Sydney in many logos, so is the Southern Cross a shorthand for Australia (at least to Australians). But unlike the former, which often feels trite when used, I feel the Southern Cross is more immune to overuse, and it is indeed a symbol of pride for many. So I was fine with its inclusion here and think it was incorporated rather well.

The words were, tragically, set in Copperplate Gothic, appearing slightly condensed but not distorted. Copperplate Gothic is the kind of typeface that was popular in the mid-twentieth century for stationery and business cards, especially for serious business professionals like doctors, lawyers, and bankers. It had no place in this logo, looking too harsh against the flowy ribbon ball. Add to that the inconsistent kerning and the choice to differentiate “FEDERATION” for whatever reason, and you were left with a very poor effort on the type front.

FFA CEO David Gallop AM: “Our new identity opens the way to reposition football as a top tier sports brand and promote the whole of the game. This new look and feel […] has the support of the member federations who will also look to refresh their identities in line with the new FFA logo in the near future.”

FFA CMO Luke Bould: “The three elements represent the three key things that set football apart, its atmosphere, diversity and ability to unify and connect us to the rest of the world.”

FFA media release

New Football Federation Australia logo
New logo
Alternate Football Federation Australia logos
Alternate logos

The new logo has adopted the style of the A-League, W-League and Y-League logos that were also redesigned by Hulsbosch and rolled out in January 2017. It’s very unusual to see a bottom-up implementation of a brand identity like this. Previously, the FFA logo bore no resemblance to the league logos, and it was certainly less visible than them. The new logo embraces one of football’s “points of difference” – unity – and now establishes FFA as a clear parent brand.

You can read my thoughts on the ribbons in my review of the A/W/Y-League logos (hint: they’re fine), but the main things I want to focus on are the updates to the text and colours. The words are now set uniformly in Gibson, a no-fuss humanist sans and the same typeface used in the league logos. It makes the old type look medieval in comparison. The choice to loosen up the letter-spacing is well considered as it echoes the airiness of the ribbons. Most pleasingly, the colours have been changed to an interpretation of green and gold, the official national colours of Australia today, and the colours Australians associate with our national representatives in sport – not least the Socceroos.

New Football Federation Australia stationery
Letterhead, business card and envelope designs (Source)

Overall, the new logo is a great improvement, beautifully simple and and exactly what a national body like FFA deserves.