BTLOly #10: Switzerland
BTLOly (Best Team Logos in the Olympics) continues today, and will continue during the length of the Olympics. Of note, The “logos” are not the official logos for any of the hockey federations of the countries and have been designed specifically for this short 2-week long tournament. As such, these are meant to be temporary logos to symbolize a country, so there’s different things to consider. That being said, these logos are still symbolizing a country, so a certain amount of thought has to be put into their design.
Enough with the disclaimer, let’s keep going with #10…
Switzerland is at a severe disadvantage right from the beginning. No matter what, it wasn’t going to be very innovative, interesting or exciting of a logo. Their jersey is another matter (and it is excellent), but there’s a lot more play that can be done with a jersey. The logo itself? Not much you can do with typical Swiss aesthetics.
If you do a search on Wikipedia for “symbols of Switzerland”, which usually gives a multitude of different historical and modern symbols for a country, gives four options: the national flag (which is the logo used), the national crest (which is also the logo they used), the national anthem (which wouldn’t make for a good logo), and alphorns (those giant horns from the Ricola commercials). What else is there? The Matterhorn perhaps, or Swiss Army Knives? Neither lend themselves to a good sports logo.
So, we’re left with the Swiss cross. Often mistaken for a First Aid (or, more accurately, the Red Cross) sign, the difference is that the Swiss cross is always white on a red background, while the Red Cross symbol is always the exact opposite, red on white. It’s not a coincidence that the two are so closely related, as the International Red Cross movement was started by a Swiss businessman (Jean-Henri Dunant) back in the 1860s. The current Swiss flag wasn’t officially adopted until 1889, but was used historically to represent Switzerland. History lesson over.
So, we’re left with the Swiss cross, a beautifully minimal symbol that works excellently as a flag or national identity (not dissimilar to the elegant simplicity of a Canadian maple leaf), but as a hockey logo, it’s a bit bland. Using the same Canadian comparison, the Canadian hockey team hasn’t in recent history had a logo featuring just the exact maple leaf design on the flag, and that’s it (although, that might be better than this year’s effort).
There’s not too much else to say. The logo is definitely Swiss, it’s definitely representative of the country, and given the general aesthetics of the country, there’s not much else you can do with it. It is what it is. And that’s 10th. Good thing they did such a good job with the jersey.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.