The Graphic Design of Argentine Soccer
There is no secret that Alfalfa Studio loves sport graphics, particularly soccer. If you have been following our blog, you might have noticed that previously we’ve reviewed the graphic design of soccer teams from England, France, Lithuania, Mexico, USA’s MLS and Colombia. Today, Argentina takes center stage! In Argentina, the passion for football …
There is no secret that Alfalfa Studio loves sport graphics, particularly soccer. If you have been following our blog, you might have noticed that previously we’ve reviewed the graphic design of soccer teams from England, France, Lithuania, Mexico, USA’s MLS and Colombia. Today, Argentina takes center stage!
In Argentina, the passion for football lives at the heart of our culture.
- 96% of citizens are interested in football, and 3 out of 10 are hard-core fans.
- 50% watch not only national matches, but also matches from all over the world.
- 46% would work overtime for 3 years to save money to go and see the world cup.
- 35% see the matches in the same place, with the same people and the same lucky charms to bring good luck to their team.
- 43% would shave their beard if their team wins the national cup.
Football is the most popular sport in the country with fans who have a serious passion and borderline obsession. Argentina has probably the most committed followers, right below England. Football surfaced for the first time in many elementary schools. Magically, a lot of young boys with talent began to emerge from different states of the country. That’s how players are discovered; clubs begin and soon after more national and professional cups appear.
Argentine Football Association or AFA is the oldest soccer associations in South America and the eighth oldest in the world. Argentine football is not only a pioneer in America, but also the first to be affiliated to FIFA (International Federation of Association Football), one of the main organizations in sport in 1912 . Argentina is a football global power that is in the top tier for FIFA ranking. In a territory where inhabitants are recognized as the ones born in “Diego Maradona’s nation”, the National Team has one of the strongest national identities for its citizens. For various reasons, which range from sports to state political matters, the white and light blue team was not fully recognized until the conquest of the first FIFA World Championship in 1978.
In AFA, there are several leagues. However, the main one is the FIRST DIVISION LEAGUE (A) that currently consists of 30 teams. After studying the graphic design of these professional soccer teams’ badge, I would love to share my rankings, starting from worst and saving the best for last. Ready?
30. Club Crucero del Norte
Is this a logo for a long distance bus line? Or a superhero cartoon from the 90’s? Colors don’t seem to be part of the same graphic universe. The negative space from the C is too big and it demands all the visual attention. Please someone help Club Crucero del Norte right now!!!!
29. Club Atlético Lanús
What is this? What does it say? Is it a plastic tray for a cake? Is it a maze? Seriously, I only recognize this is a soccer shield from Argentina because of that familiar “granate” (bordeaux) color that identifies Club Atlético Lanús. Next!
AL DO SI VI (ALlard + DOulfus + SIllard + WIriott). Club Atlético Aldosivi was founded in the Mar del Plata port, these were the surnames of the four owners of the construction firm that created the port, hence the reason to include a fish in their logo. The creators of the club were french immigrants, so at the beginning the colors were blue, red and white. But then, a firm donated some soccer shirts that had these two colors, so they changed the shield. You can’t imagine how I hate to see the letters set vertically!
27. Club Atlético Sarmiento
Initially, the official badge colors were green and white in vertical stripes. But at that time, it was very difficult to get good quality fabric and when they washed them, the colors faded and mixed. They then decided it was best to have a completely green shirt to avoid color messiness. That is a good story, but when looking at the badge, I don’t know if I should read C – A – S or C – S – A. That is kind of a BIG problem.
26. Club Atlético San Martin
“El Verdinegro” (the green & black). The founders of this club were called “los negritos.” That is why they have chosen black as the color to their shield; the green color was chosen because it represents hope. I don’t think the serif type is helping them, neither the angle tilt. I feel these letters are falling (and so is the team…).
25. Arsenal Football Club
Founded in Avellaneda. The uniform is light blue with a red band in diagonal; these colors were chosen to symbolize the union of the two older clubs from Avellaneda, taking a representative of each color: Club Atlético Independiente (red) and Racing Club (light blue). I think they wanted to mix too many things on this badge. What are they talking about?? What does that heart inverted in the top suppose to mean? These colors don’t match!!! Choose your own colors please!
24. Club Atlético Rafaela
The colors chosen are light blue, white and a bit of yellow, just like the Argentine flag. If they set the type on a path tool, it was not done well, if they used it at all ha ha ha. Club Atlético Rafaela do me a favor: next time make sure the typographic weight is balanced
23. Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata
In the early years of the institution, the white and blue colors were adopted, seeking to highlight the fact that this was an Argentinean club. The first jersey used had a white and light blue vertical stripes. Later, in 1905, they decided to change the colors to differentiate it from the Racing Club. This resulted in a jersey with white and navy blue vertical stripes. Finally, since 1910 the design was modified by changing vertical stripes to horizontal stripes of navy blue. The Hull feathers are calling all your attention, in fact, I can’t see anything else!!!
22. Asociación Atlética Argentinos Juniors
The shield used today, consists of a red flag with a white diagonal band that crosses the upper right to the lower left corner, with the legend Mens sana in corpore sano (Healthy mind in healthy body). The contour is a blue circle which has within the inscription “Argentinos Juniors Athletic Association.” The rectangle inside the circle really bothers me!!! Please make a decision, rather set the type horizontal or on a path around the circle. It makes me feel dizzy.
21. Club Atlético Tigre
The same colors have been used since its foundation: Blue France and Vermilion. They came from the colors of the Swiss canton of Ticino, limited to Italy, where Adolph Leber was born. He donated the first game jerseys with those club colors. The big red ‘T’ is a good idea, but the letters on top are too heavy so they are competing.
20. Club Atlético Banfield
In October 15, 1904, an Assembly of Members of Banfield Athletic institution, born within the British community in Buenos Aires, decided the dissolution of the club due to its economic problems. A few days later, a group of ex partners of the institution, headed by George Burton, created Club Atlético Banfield. Graphically, the initials C A B are really small when compared to the size of the shield.
19. Defensa y Justicia
The institution was founded on March 20, 1935 by a group of friends who wanted to form a local team. There are no sources explaining why or how the name Defensa y Justicia (Defense and Justice) was given to the club. The club’s original colors were blue with white collar and cuffs, which were changed to yellow with green details. These were the colors of the bus line “El Halcón,” a company that belonged to the club’s president at the time. This company used its buses to transport the fans to away games, and thus received the nickname “Los Halcones de Varela.” From the design point of view, the letters D y J are not perfectly centered in the yellow rectangle and the slant look uncomfortable. Please fix that ASAP, Club Social y Deportivo Defensa y Justicia.
18. Club Atlético Temperley
The institution was founded on November 1st, 1912. In 1917, they could finally afford a light blue flag, inaugurating the Turdera field. According to some residents, the colors of the club are because in the 1910s, when the workers delivered the milk jars in each town, they were guided by the colors of the caps. The light blue caps were the ones that should be left in Temperley. That is the reason why they identify with the light blue color. Their nick name is “Gasolero” because of the low budget they’ve always had. In the badge, the color white has more presence than the light blue. It would have a better contrast if the colors were reversed.
17. Club Deportivo Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba
The shield of Godoy Cruz had several significant changes from its birth to the ’60s. From the 6os to the present, the emblem hasn’t had many significant changes. In the ’30s, it consisted of a blue hexagon that had G. CRUZ TOMBA written in white; in the early ’40s the emblem presented a huge change to their shape: it consisted in a blue shield with 11 white stripes, with the initials “CSGCT” diagonally on a blue stripe; in the late ’40s, the same blue shield consisted of 9 blue-striped mentioning CD GODOY CRUZ AT diagonally on a white strip; in the late ’60s, the shield was based of a thin blue border with another white complexion inner edge and 7 strips: 4 blue and 3 white. In conclusion, all these changes have not been sufficient to get a clean and organized shield. It has too much information making it really difficult for the visual perception of graphic priorities.
16. Club Atlético Nueva Chicago
The first jerseys were made in house Perretti, located at Avenida Nueva Chicago 6836, but, because the factory was not going through healthy times, they received a set of blue shirts, promising that in a period not exceeding twenty days the greens ones would be ready. Later, Don Carlos Perretti could deliver the first set of green and white jerseys therefore founding the team in 1904. The shield shape is not so bad, but it has problems in all the edges; They are not uniform and the type doesn’t look quite centered.
15. Estudiantes de la Plata
The shield was redesigned in 1988 in the 20th anniversary of the club’s greatest achievement, the Intercontinental Cup, which introduced the image of the trophy won at Manchester United. In 2012, a gold star with the inscription “11” was added at the top of the shield in reference to the official titles obtained. In 2015, the same supplier of clothing, Adidas, designed an alternative circular shield with a drawing, red and white, referring to one of the nicknames the club identifies to: the lion. OMG please solve the kerning!
14. Quilmes Atlético Club
The Quilmes color refers to the merge of various English clubs. The original was white and then blue was added. It does not have personality nor any concept. This badge needs something to make it special.
13. Club Atlético Unión
In 1907, fourteen members of the former Santa Fe Football Club founded the Club Unión de Santa Fe (“Tatengue”). This group and new members belonged to the aristocratic part of the city and since its founding, the club had its headquarters at the “macrocentro” of the city of Santa Fe, an area identified by the inhabitants of good social-economic status. “Tatengue” means “people of good life,” therefore their nickname. The chosen colors were red and white, in homage to the glorious Alumni of Brown Brothers, which marked the Club supremacy in the amateur stage of Argentine football. What is not a success, is the fact that the letters are going down—like falling, and the ‘U’ is very close to the edge of the shield.
12. Club Atlético Colón
The Red (on the left half) and black (on the right half) colors are due to a barge located in the area where the young people, who founded the club, met to play football. Initially the idea was red on the left and black on the right, and gave those instructions to the Rosario factory to tailor their jerseys. But when the jerseys arrived, the colors were reversed! After their initial shock, they decided to leave it that way. Shortly thereafter, Club Atlético Colón learned that another club in the city of Rosario (Newells) wore red and black too, so both teams played a match for the right to own those colors. Colón won and kept the colors of clothing. The badge works in the sense that it’s simple and reflects passion. But, OMG the typography is atrocious…it needs a design intervention ASAP!
11. Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield
The club was founded on January 1, 1910, in the neighborhood of Floresta, by a group of Italian boys. Hence the reason why the original colors were green red and white. There are many theories related to the decision to change the colors of the badge. But the real story is that one day they had to play a game and the jerseys were not dry, so they borrowed some shirts from a nearby Rugby Club. These had a white with blue V. That day Velez won that game so they continued using these two colors (blue and white) as the primary, along with the big V. This is a good story, but it is not amongst the top 10 because, although visually interesting, it is really bizarre how “CAVS” is set.
10. Racing Club de Avellaneda
The colors are light blue and white in honor of the national colors. Unlike many of the other club’s founders, Racing Club de Avellaneda‘s creators were born and raised y Argentina, and their parents too. Overall, the badge is good, but a little bit flat, the name looses presence.
09. Club Olimpo
In October 15, 1910, a group of citizens of Bahía Blanca founded a club dedicated to promote sports, especially soccer practice. It was decided by a vote of 11-2 that the name should be Olimpo, referring to the Greek mythology mountain which was the birthplace and home of the Gods. Later, Avellanal, the club first president in 1910, chose yellow and black because he was born in Uruguay and he was a big fan of Club Atlético Peñarol. This is a stand-out badge that reflects passion and strength.
08. Club Atlético Independiente
Independiente took the red color for their jersey when the English team Nottingham Forest came on tour to Argentina in 1908. They were astonished by their colors, so they adopted them. This is a neat shield but with serious typography issues, don’t you think?
07. Newells Old Boys
The red and black colors were taken from the flags of (1) England, the country of origin of Newell, and (2) the flag of the German Empire, home of his wife, Anna Margreth Jockinsen. Currently, the shield includes the acronym “NOB.” It is a simple and modern shield, with three elements that creates strong visual impact but needs more strength to better show the unique passion of soccer.
06. Club Atlético River Plate
The history of the colors of River Plate is very different and peculiar: One night, during a carnival party, there was an old car parked which had a bright red silk ribbon hanging. Some of the players stole it and cut it up in many parts. They put it as a detail with pins on their white shirts to feel identified as a team. Several of the players crossed the ribbon diagonally and voila! the well-known shirt of River Plate was born. This is a powerful shield. But, there are couple of things that are not working: The super-sharp upper right corner and the variation of the light weights throughout. Get it together guys!
05. Club Atlético Rosario Central
Rosario Central is known as “canallas” (the rotten ones) after not having agreed to play a friendly match with their traditional rivals to benefit the leprosy hospital Carrasco. It is very interesting how the design of this badge has gone back and forth so many times throughout the years. The final result is good, but I prefer the 1998 shield. Which one do you like best?
04. Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro
The colors chosen for this shield are blue, symbolizing idealism and red, symbolizing struggle. This is a badge full of passion and graphic impact. It has a great personality and it definitely catches your attention from both, close and far away. Good job San Lorenzo!
03. Club Atlético Belgrano
This club was named in honor of General Manuel Belgrano, hero and creator of the Argentine flag. It is identified by the blue color, with white details, alluding to the nation’s colors. The success of this badge lies on the graphic boldness of its center, which immediately grabs your attention. In second read, you can see that the graphic white lines made the C, A and B. Finally, by reading the circular text, one knows what the three letters stand for. It’s modern yet timeless graphic, without being overly designed and…it has a wonderful impact.
02. Club Atlético Boca Juniors
Throughout all of its history, the Club Atletico Boca Juniors has had five different badge designs. These shields and flags have been seen around the world for more than a hundred years.
Congratulations on this wonderful shield! Seeing the design evolution process was really good and seeing they arrived at the best graphic solution makes the journey worth it. The golden stars represent each cup won by the team, they offer great vibrating energy over the blue color. They stand for pride and passion. The four letters have a towering presence that reflect the victorious history of the team.
01. Club Atlético Huracán
In December 1909 Jorge Newbery, the club’s first president, made his most exciting journey on his balloon: He went from the neighborhood of Belgrano, in Buenos Aires, to the Brazilian city of Bage. This remarkable fact is what inspired the distinctive club and they decided to adopt it as their symbol. In my opinion, the Globo, literally “Balloon” is the best shield in the league, not only because it has a great history, but also because of its original visual identity: clean and modern. Additionally, it’s quite clever how the designers combined the “balloon” and the football ball in one harmonious graphic form. The lines show dynamism and movement, just like the excitement of the game. The color red captures the same passion, courage and determination demonstrated by Newbury that day of December of 1909.