Like we mentioned last time, this year marks 100 years of existence of several European countries, which is a great reason for celebrations. It’s also a good reason to design logos and most of the centenarian countries commissioned official logos for the occasion.
However, most of them are not very exciting. Here’s the list of the logos we found with our perfectly subjective ranking from our favorite to our… not favorites.
1. Estonia. This logo uses a very smart idea of creating a simple geometric shape that is both 100 and 18 and that alone would be enough to earn it first place. But additionally in applications photos are placed in two of the three shapes, which works particularly well when the color recreate the colors of Estonian flag. And another extra point: you can create your own variant with your own photo using a dedicated website.
Grade: strong A
Logo with a landscape picture with the colors of Estonian flag.
And a whole lot of other pictures: a simple yet flexible and fun design.
A different way of applying the logo.
2. Lithuania. While this logo feels less flexible, particularly because it seems to work worse in small sizes, at least it’s complex and interesting. 100 was created of letters that form the word Lietuva in patterns which feel folk-inspired. The letters are also used to design a bunch of fun pictograms used for promotional materials. Again the colors of the Lithuanian flag are used and they lend themselves particularly well to the whimsy of the pictograms.
Grade: A for effort, B for execution
The origin of the logo illustrated.
3. Iceland. Now we’re entering a more bombastic territory, which we expected from logos celebrating such momentous occasions. The logo of Iceland combines the two zeros to form infinity sign and this idea is both correct and unoriginal (as you’ll see). But at least the white line inside of the number plays visually with the lines in the Icelandic flag.
4. Latvia. Same idea, different execution. (And speaking of unoriginal, we’ve seen the same infinity thing in unofficial signs for celebrations in other countries.) Latvian logo also adds the literal Latvian flag for good measure. But while it is not exciting, at least it’s competent.
5. Poland. This is the one we’ve been seeing everywhere for a year now and the positive thing is: it’s not repulsive (which we feared it might be). However, it plays it so safe. Instead of striving for an interesting idea, it uses a vectorized word niepodległa (“independent [Poland]”) from a letter of Józef Piłsudski, a grand political figure from that time. The idea is hard to argue with but does little to invite any kind of play with the logo. It also doesn’t work so well in small sizes and the vectorization of the handwriting feels clunky and rushed.
6. Finland. (Finland celebrated it’s 100 last year but we just put it together here.) It uses the same geometry as Estonia but without engaging it in any interesting way. But the calligraphy is better than in the Polish logo.
5. The Czech Republic & Slovakia. Austria. These logos exist and that’s all we can say about them. They don’t even try – just state the facts and are done with it.
Grade: Participation prize