Clever Franke creates Eurovision 2020 identity based on participants’ national flags

The infographic was created using historical data and software the studio developed itself, and shows when each country first performed in the contest.

28 November 2019

Utrecht-based design agency Clever Franke has created a new circular visual identity for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, inspired by the flags of the competing nations. Abstracted versions of the 41 national flags, based largely on their colours, radiate from a central point, ordered clockwise by the year that each country joined the contest. There are gaps in the circle to show years where no new members joined the annual singing competition.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is a celebration of sovereign mentalities,” Clever Franke co-founder Thomas Clever told Dezeen. “Rather than looking at what divides us, we aimed to create something that unifies.”

Clever Franke used historical data and software the studio developed itself to create the circular infographic, before tweaking it by hand to make it more coherent. Some of the colours, the studio told Dezeen, did not “create a holistic identity” and of course many flags needed to be simplified by dropping crests and other decorative elements.

Given its specialism in data-driven design, the studio was keen to base this year’s identity on the vast amount of data about the contest, which began after the Second World War and will celebrate its 65th anniversary in 2020. Clever Franke experimented with a number of different ideas before opting for the chronological pinwheel of national flags. “Finding a dataset to generate an identity consistently for 41 countries is hard to come by,” said Clever. “We explored many directions such as using 'data' from songs (tempo, rhythm, etc) and various demographic datasets.”

The logo riffs on previous identities created for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970, 1976 and 1980, which were all hosted in the Netherlands and involved a circular logo. Placed on a dark blue background, beams of light shine from the circle to mark the years that the Netherlands hosted the competition. The first Eurovision Song Contest was opened by the Netherlands in 1956, so the timeline starts with the colours of the Dutch flag.

Sietse Bakker, executive producer event of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, said in statement: “This design follows the characteristics of Dutch design: minimalistic, experimental and innovative. It tells a story, it’s colourful, festive and, not unimportantly, widely applicable.”

Clever Franke added: “The Eurovision Song Contest has seen some very exciting identities, design applications and spectacular decors. I think a lot of people tend to focus on the kitsch and the latter is not often recognised. It is easy to fall into the trap of cynicism, but once you get in the genuine mindset of positivity and playfulness, the expression of joy comes automatically.”

The identity will be used on TV graphics during the event, which will be hosted by Rotterdam in May 2020, and on advertising campaigns and merchandise.

GalleryClever Franke: Eurovision 2020 identity

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About the Author

Laura Snoad

Laura is a London-based arts journalist who has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016.

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