World Cup blog 54, 58, 62 posters, images courtesy of the National Football Museum.
The World Cup tournaments in 1954, 1958 and 1962 were also about new forms of confidence and innovative markets. The designs becoming increasingly simple and abstract. The 1954 World Cup in Switzerland was amongst the first to be televised, although relatively few people owned their own set, and would probably have watched at a friend or neighbor, and this marked a new age in visualizing football. The 1954 World Cup was the first to be televised and marked a new way of watching sport, in that people would increasingly follow the tournament on screen than rather than through the press and listening to the radio. The Swiss commercial artist Herbert Leupin, who had produced work for Coca Cola and other multinational companies designed the official emblem, the first trademarked for the World Cup. A graphic designer, Leupin specialized in poster design, and was recognized with many international awards: he also painted and illustrated children’s books.
In this design, the football is the most central design element, and it swells the back of the goal net while an open mouthed and outstretched goalkeeper looks back in surprise. The goalkeeper also looks out at the reader of the poster. Like Laborde’s 1930 design, the figure of the goalkeeper is frozen in a moment of intense drama. It seems as if we see the goal happening in real time. Unlike Laborde’s goalkeeper though, who rises transcendent across the goal, this keeper has been beaten and the human connection is his distress at the moment of defeat.
Increasing technocracy and specialism were also evident in the resulting victory of Germany. The Federal Republic of Germany national team head coach Sepp Herberger had invited German sports shoe manufacturer Adi Dassler, owner of Adidas, to travel with the team in 1954. After reaching the Final against Hungary, the German team countered the rainy conditions in the second half of the match by replacing shorter screw-in studs with longer replacements that gave them more stability. Adidas technology achieved mythical status when the 2-2 first half draw became a German 3-2 victory with six minutes to go. This heralded a significant moment in post-war German national pride, known as ‘The Miracle of Berne’.
Eyzaguirre boots 1962 Image courtesy of the National Football Museum. Luis Armando Eyzaguirre Silva (born in Santiago, Chile on 22 June 1939), played right midfield in the Universidad de Chile football team, known as the Ballet Azul, with which he won four national championships. Eyzaguirre played in the Chilean national team who took third place in the 1962 FIFA World Cup and played one match in the 1966 FIFA World Cup in Sunderland. Eyzaguirre played 39 times for his country between 1959 and 1966.
When a new, proudly mixed-race Brazil team beat hosts Sweden in 1958 to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy for the first time, there was some redemption for their previous defeat as hosts in 1950. The team carried the trophy on the back of a municipal fire engine through the avenues of Rio to the Presidential Palace. The 1958 World Cup poster was typical of the minimalist Swedish graphic design style of the time featuring very uncluttered typography and where the words ‘Football, Futbol, Fussball’ have as much prominence as the football itself. The player who has kicked the ball is in its shadow and, again, it is a transcendent image, as the ball flies off to the top right of the image, trailing a banner of the flags of the competing nations as it soars. Also known as the International Style of graphic design, the poster promoted the Coupe de Jules Rimet and its simplicity, minimalism and functionality reflect a typical Scandinavian design style of the 1950s.
The seventh World Cup competition in Chile 1962 saw Pele and his Brazilian team secure their second successive World Cup crown, beating Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the final. The poster design is much more abstract, and only the ball and the globe feature on the poster, with the lettering to announce the tournament; there was no human element. This was an otherworldly design, set against a green-blue background, by Chilean sculptor and graphic artist, Galvarino Ponce intended to evoke the space-age and the recent Sputnik missions. This was an ostentatiously modern design which figuratively represented ‘world’ and ‘football’. As Brenda Elsey has shown, the Chilean organizing committee presented a small, humble and efficient country with a mainly white, European-influenced culture, embodied by the slogan ‘Because we have nothing, we want to do it all’ (Brenda Elsey Citizens and Sportsmen: Fútbol and Politics in Twentieth Century Chile Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011 p. 196). Compared with the Argentine bid which emphasised the infrastructure of a much larger country and a significant contribution to the world game embodied by their representative ‘We can have the World Cup tomorrow. We have it all’, FIFA chose the plucky underdog. The poster design therefore represents little sense of Chilean culture, but, as a diplomat as well as an artist, Ponce’s design was conscious of drawing the world’s attention to the host nation, via football.
The next blog will discuss the unprecedented commercialism of the 1966 World Cup, and see an important part of the marketing mix for the tournament, the first World Cup mascot World Cup Willie.