Branding // Identity
Football Club Osijek is one of the most important football clubs in Croatia due to its overall contribution to Croatian football, most notably in the form of some very successful players that have been raised in the club. FC Osijek was founded in 1947 and entered the First League in 1953. In April 1967 it became an independent football club and started carrying its current name, FC Osijek. During the first few years, the club’s colors were red and blue, which in 1970 changed to white and blue - the colors of the City of Osijek. In 1992, a new Croatian Football League started, in which FC Osijek achieved a range of good results and was a regular participant in the European leagues championships. The season of 2000 is still remembered as one of the best. In that season FC Osijek was the autumn Croatian champion, but ended the season in the third place, because of some less than good games in the second (spring) part of the championship. Since then FC Osijek has not recorded any significant success. This is because, in addition to the regular transfers of important players, there has also been a bad financial situation that has led the Club to a situation where survival and staying in the 1st Croatian Football League was the biggest possible accomplishment. After many years of survival, in February 2016 the club was sold into a private ownership to a Hungarian entrepreneur Lorinc Meszaros and his partner, an entrepreneur from Osijek, Ivan Mestrovic.
Immediately after the arrival of the new owner, a marketing team was formed. The goal of the marketing team was to create a new image of the Club, as well as of the City of Osijek. FC Osijek has thus hired Studio 33 to work on the redesign of the visual identity and graphic standards for the FC Osijek, which are more than necessary for the functionality of the club and the new marketing campaign, aimed at bringing the fans back to the stands, and bringing life back to the City of Osijek. The first step in creating a new identity was the standardization and creation of a book of graphic standards. FC Osijek have been neglecting their own standards through a poor use of the club’s coat of arms and the club features, and have therefore disturbed its visual identity. Since the club’s coat of arms was not strictly defined, there were several different logos in circulation with several different typographies, along with several different shades of blue.
The coat of arms also had a problem with its elements in the header, where the symbols of a marten and a six-pointed star haven’t been used consistently either. The visual identity had to be refreshed with new features that would allow branding on different materials. To make that possible, it was necessary to come up with a system that offers many application possibilities, and at the same time differs from the rest of the clubs.
FC Osijek Tringles are geometrical elements in the colors of the club. Triangles as geometric figures give dynamics and necessary boost. Symbolically, they represent the hustle and the sports, as well as masculinity and strength. The use of an isosceles triangle gives the impression of danger, which would emphasize the fanatical fight of the players in the matches, intimidate the opponent, but also encourage the citizens and fans to unite and cheer on their team. Call to action slogan and a hashtag have been created to announce club events, promotions, invitations, matches, to stir the hype among the members and supporters, and to encourage the citizens of Osijek to unite and cheer on their local club. For the purpose of promotion and sales activities of the official Club’s souvenirs, it was logical to design an original name of the Club’s shops and the brand. In the early 70s, the official Club colors became white and blue, which are also the colors of the City of Osijek. Since then, the white and blue color combination lives in the coat of arms, in the name, in the stadium, in the songs… It represents an important part of the Club’s identity. Precisely because of this reason, we suggested the most logical brand name, namely "Bijelo Plavi" (Croatian for “White and Blue”). In addition to the brand name, to official souvenir shop branding, and the development of a complete range of souvenirs, the name "Bijelo Plavi" also offers excellent opportunities for development of the brand architecture. The name "Bijelo Plavi" can be accompanied by the words of various actions, products or services, whose functions serve as additional brand promotion and recognition of the club. “Bijelo Plavi Klub” (“White and Blue Club”), “Bijelo Plavi Član” (“White and Blue Member”), “Bijelo Plavi Dan” (“White and Blue Day”)... The graphic element of a triangle that was used in the redesign of the visual identity, has also been intertwined in the design of the brand logo, within the free space between the two letters. The triangle element completes the story of FC Osijek’s identity, and balances the free space between the letters "LO" and "LA". The logo of the official souvenir shop was treated as an exclamation, which it will ultimately become when the brand comes to life. The silhouette of FC Osijek’s coat of arms was used as a further the link with the club and its identity within the form of an exclamation point.
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