• Transform magazine
  • September 23, 2019

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Cultural icon brings European Games brand to life

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The great success of the past couple Olympics Games, in addition to the growing prominence of events like the Commonwealth Games and the European Capital of Culture have paved the way for a new quadrennial festival of sport, the European Games. The inaugural European Games will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015.

Lionel Zetter, director of the European Azerbaijan Society, which represents the country of Azerbaijan, says, “The opportunity to hold the inaugural European Games is causing great excitement in Azerbaijan. Visitors will be able to see for themselves what a beautiful city Baku is, with fantastic infrastructure and warmly welcoming people. This is another step in the integration of Azerbaijan in to the wider European family.”

Creating a brand for a new event such as the European Games can set the tone for future festivals, much as the Commonwealth Games’ branding retains a similar feel year by year. London-based brand agency, SomeOne, was tasked with developing the brand system for the games.

The brand incorporates traditional Azerbaijani imagery with images and colours designed to evoke a decidedly European sporting feel.

Simon Clegg, COO of the Baku 2015 European Games Operation Committee, says, “The new brand is a dynamic and fresh new look for Baku 2015 which symbolises our pride in ancient Azerbaijani heritage, the natural beauty of the country and a desire to create an innovative sports event that will be enjoyed by the whole of Europe. Over the coming weeks and months, the look will become synonymous with the European Games and provide an immediate visual link to all aspects of our identity here in Azerbaijan.”

After visiting Baku, Gary Holt, executive creative director at SomeOne, says the pomegranate tree seemed to be the perfect icon for the games. SomeOne took the omnipresent icon for Azerbaijan, and most of Mediterranean Europe, and transformed it into an icon featuring a phoenix and Olympic-like colours.

The applications, however, bring the logo to life. Purples, greens reds and yellows allow the pomegranate tree, sport icons and other brand assets to burst off the page, screen or wall. The Sochi 2014’s patchwork quilted brand allowed for flexibility of application while still retaining a strong identity; so to does the pomegranate pattern and iconography.