Neshan Magazine, Editors Column, No.16-Spring 2008
The value of visual identity for any organization or event is not concealed to solely graphic design nonetheless the importance has remained unknown for most managers and authorities. There is a lack of understanding between the professional sector of graphic design and the decision-making authorities. It will suffice to take a look at the cultural, art, sports and social activities in our society and take notice of the missing integrity and harmony in the visual elements.
Sporting events are considered one of the most exciting activities in every society. Nowadays in the world, sports activities can be classified into two general groups; firstly, the periodical or occasional and secondly, the continuous and ongoing. Sports clubs or permanent committees such as the Olympics fall in the latter group. Graphic designers considerably affect both groups. This role is effective in giving out information and introducing events which consequently attract greater audiences and financial income.
In our country, the wrestling games of World Champion Takhti Cup, the Islamic Countries International Women's Games, the Asian International Youths Basketball Games, the Quadrilateral Football Games and many other small yet major events are held annually in different seasons. Who creates the visual identity for these events? Who designs the posters, tickets, logos, trophies and other visual elements? If sports are to become public and if championship sports are to create national pride and unite our nation, how is it that the information on sporting events is not properly visually spread?
If indeed World Champion Takhti (Named after the most famous wrestling champion of Iran) is our national asset, how come, except for a few posters that enthusiastic designers have voluntarily printed, there is no visual communication befitting his athletic and ethical character? Isn't it true that wrestling is our number one sport and we have to display it to Iranians and the world in the best possible way?
We all know that football is the most popular sport in the world. Persepolis and Esteghlal are among the most popular sports clubs in Iran. They both have zealous and passionate fans willing to travel long distances and sleep a night or two behind the stadium doors to grasp tickets with difficulty for their favorite games. These two and all of Iran's football teams receive financial support either through the governmental budget meaning the Physical Education Organization or through large industrial or private companies and yet they are always in debt.
Let's look at some of the most reputable clubs in the world naming Milan and Juventus of Italy, Manchester and Arsenal of England, Bayern Munich and Dortmund of Germany and Barcelona and Real Madrid of Spain. When visiting the clubs websites, you will find many products to buy which are all designed under one organizational identity. By purchasing these products, the fans prove their dedication and support continuously.
If we consider half of the fans from each of the two most reputable clubs in Iran, which number between two to three million, as buyers of their team's specific products contributing a profit of about 20,000 Rials (2 US dollars) to the club by purchasing annually, the total profit for every club will amount to 4 to 6 million US dollars in one year. In this case, governmental support and/or dependency are not needed.
On one hand if a small percentage of the exorbitant sums of money spent on holding sporting events every year is appropriated to visual communication projects, it will both bring increasing profits to sports and significantly communicate the importance of support.