It’s been a long while since my last ReBrand post. Being that we’re in the latter stages of the 2016 Euros, I thought that I ought to branch out of the SFA (at least for this one design) and venture into the world of international football. And what better side to celebrate than those wonderful underdogs, Íslenska karlalandsliðið í knattspyrnu, or, to us non-Íslendingar, the Iceland national football team. Iceland’s top football division, Úrvalsdeild, was established in 1912, though their first international match did not take place until 29 July 1930, when Iceland won 1-0 at the Faroe Islands. The Football Association of Iceland (Knattspyrnusamband Íslands, or KSÍ), and in turn, Iceland’s FIFA membership, was not established until 1947.
This year’s Euros were Iceland’s first major tournament appearance. And whilst they are most definitely the smallest nation to have ever qualified for a major tournament (with a population of some 334,000), Iceland has inspired many viewers (and perhaps especially many of us in Scotland, who did not qualify for the tournament) with their surprising results. They opened up the group stage with 1-1 draws against Portugal and Hungary, before sealing their place in the Round of 16 with a 2-1 victory of Austria. Most shockingly, Iceland produced a stunning display against England (another 2-1 victory), advancing to the Quarter-finals. Their run was ended on 3 July by tournament hosts France (5-2).
Iceland’s spirit remains inspirational — sharing a 10,000+ person ritual (the now-famous ‘Viking clap’) upon their return home.
One thing that struck me about Iceland from the very start was the state of their kit, the KSÍ badge being perhaps the most distracting element for someone of my depraved disposition.
I have been impressed by Matthew Wolff, designer with New York City FC, who already had the idea to redesign the Iceland badge, basing it on a previous incarnation. Wolff’s design features a semi-runic styled KSÍ, flanked by two halves of a football, all set in front of an iceberg. He even pitched the idea to the KSÍ. Whilst Wolff’s design is striking, I’m not quite sure that an iceberg is representative of the whole of Iceland (with most of its sea ice originating from other places).
Coming up with [what I consider to be] a decent and somewhat meaningful rebrand for the KSÍ has been quite challenging, in part due to the fact that ancient Iceland produced a large number of compelling norse designs, such as Ægishjálmr (the Helm of Awe). But below I have settled on something perhaps more simplified.