FIFA 2023 Women's World Cup Australia + New Zealand identity is a 'unifying cultural force'
FIFA is set to unveil the logo and other design elements for the 2023 Women’s World Cup Australia + New Zealand, created with female artists from both host countries "to bring elements of their heritage and culture to the global stage".
The design work was led by Toronto-based Public Address and LA-based Works Collective, who brought in local artists and type designers from across Australia and New Zealand. Works Collective was first brought in by FIFA, and the team then engaged Public Address to collaborate with them on the design process across all deliverables.
The two studios had previously worked together to jointly create designs for the LA2028 Olympics, and describe the 2023 Women's World Cup Australia + New Zealand as "one of the world’s most progressive sporting events".
A key aspect of the brief was that all designed work aligned with "the ambitious objectives and positioning of the FIFA Women’s World Cup," said the studios. FIFA and each host countries' representatives tasked Public Address and Works Collective with creating a modern feel and narrative for the identity that still "honoured and highlighted each host country's core identity".
The project wasn't without its challenges: the collaboration of FIFA, Public Address, Works Collective and the local artists meant that the team was working across anywhere from five to ten different countries and time zones at any given point.
While many such events – including previous Women’s World Cups – often look to depictions of a trophy as their emblem, the design teams deliberately avoided relying on that familiar cliché and instead took a more conceptual approach that aims to "use design to evoke the FIFA WWC23 as a unifying cultural force," according to Public Address.
As such, the emblem uses 32 squares, which represent the 32 nations that will come together to compete for the FIFA WWC23. Public Address says that the "circular radial motif" references a "design element seen across many indigenous Australian and New Zealand cultures".
It adds that for the FIFA WWC23, "it not only signifies the world's best coming together in Australia and NZ, but also the spirit and values of the host countries radiating back out to the world...The symbol represents the many fans, families, and supporters who will travel to be part of the FIFA WWC23 while the travelling lines and circles – both traditional Australian motifs."
The Australian patterns were created in collaboration with artist Chern’ee Sutton; while the NZ pattern was created in collaboration with textile artist Fiona Collis..
Sutton's symbol represents the many fans, families and supporters who will travel to be part of the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia New Zealand 2023 using traditional "travelling lines" and circles, speak to the journey and places we must travel to and through to reach our destination.
Collis' pattern "speaks to the coming together of people, and cultures – the collective mountains are bound together harmoniously within the composition of the pattern, evoking inclusivity, convergence, and the power of the collective," we're told.
The colour palette is drawn from Australia and New Zealand's physical landscapes, referencing patterns and tones seen in their rainforests, earth, mountains, water, and cities. This was a deliberate eschewal of the more obvious design route, using the colours of the host nations' flags; creating a more vibrant, unique, but distinctly Australasian feel.
Alistair McCready, a type designer based in Auckland, New Zealand created a bold, dynamic bespoke typeface for the project. The letterforms were designed to look modern, while also drawing from the radial motif and the squares that form it.
Public Address and Works Collective also worked together on the official launch film, which is said to "celebrate the greatness of women's football around the world – past, present, and future". The footage in the film is focused on the host countries of Australia and NZ, highlighting "the legendary players and moments that elevated the sport and paved the way for today’s heroes and tomorrow's icons".