37th America's Cup Logo Unveiled and Its Nothing Short of Terrible

America's Cup Logo 7 photos
Photo: America's Cup Media
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On Wednesday, November 16, at the Museu Maritim de Barcelona, Spain, the site of the 37th America's Cup, the logo for the prestigious event was unveiled for the first time.
Keep in mind this event is the oldest organized international sporting competition in the world. These days it brings together world-class designers and techies to squeeze the most out of their designs to ultimately take home the coveted Auld Mug. The sailing syndicates involved in defending and challenging for the Auld Mug are headed by the billionaires of the world. The millionaires out there cannot afford to be in the fight by any stretch.

Technological advances have turned the traditional America's Cup mono-hull sloop-type sailboats of yesteryear into multi-millionaire dollar foiling watercraft. The foiling boats called AC75s are 75 feet (22.86 meters) in length with the sail area (1,560 square feet / 145 Square meters) of a single-family home in the Midwest. They are capable of reaching speeds in excess of 50 knots (57.5 mph / 92.6 kp/h) by way of raising up on foils that protrude laterally from the hull, essentially enabling them to fly above the water.

They are extremely nimble and agile to the point of excess, riding on the extreme edge of physics where one wrong move by a crew member could spell disaster. In fact, the boats are so unstable they are more stable when flying on their foils. We saw the Alinghi Red Bull and Luna Rossa boats both capsize while under tow earlier this year.

The point is, America's Cup sailing, because of the speed and acceleration of these vessels, has become watchable; its Formula 1 on the water sans the brakes. It is the closest thing to edge-of-your-seat sailing that you can imagine. The risk factor to both crew and craft is evident by virtue of the fact the crew don helmets on race day. It was inconceivable for those sailors back in the day racing on Ted Turner's 'Courageous' or Dennis Connor's 'Star and Stripes' to think that someday sailors would have to wear helmets.

I get it, things evolve, and increased speed is the goal in any racing endeavor.

Now let's take a look at the official new logo design that was chosen to be the symbol of an event that is defined by speed and unpredictability and all the inherent risks they present.

The design and selection process was headed up by ADG-FAD, a non-profit association of Art Directors and Graphic Designers in Spain; a decades-old institution that has organized the most renowned awards in the sector, ADG Laus Awards, whose goal is to dignify and spread the importance of design in society.

ACE Barcelona CEO Grant Dalton describes the selected design as bold and refreshing and “bold and refreshing and will no doubt be clearly recognisable and associated with the event by the people here in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain and around the world.”

The process involved the participation of three creative studios, and in the end, Pràctica, a Barcelona and New York-based design and identity studio, won with the design you see pictured above.

Now, I do not claim to be a designer, but my vision is near perfect, and I fail to see any level of design in the winning logo. It incorporates a Clipart of the Auld Mug, a poor attempt at designing the "B" (for Barcelona) to be the least bit visually captivating, and worst yet, a pathetically boring and overused font.

I guess these folks did not get the memo; the purpose of a logo is to be a visual representation of whatever it is it represents. At first glance, the new America's Cup logo is more suited for a chess tournament or an antique trade show. It begs the question, "What did the losers' design look like?"

There is nothing about this logo that suggests the America's Cup is an exciting and thrilling event that only comes around every three to four years.

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