32 Nations: Epilogue

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All thirty-two shirts are out; the ten (eleven if you count this piece) part project has been published. Now what? It’s time to take a quick look back at 32 Nations, to review some highlights, answer some questions, and reveal a few final items.

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Friday Music, Volume 1

Speaking of Friday Music: Recently I’ve been playing around with 8tracks, and I realized I could turn the Friday Music series into de-facto mix tapes. From now on, every eight songs I post, I’ll collect into an 8tracks volume. Since we have some catching up to do, here’s Friday Music, Volume 1: compiled January—April, 2012.

  1. 4Our by MRR-ADM
  2. Same Tattoos (Sabzi remix) by Fences
  3. Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells
  4. Brazil (Gold Panda remix) by Luke Abbot
  5. Welcome Home by Radical Face
  6. Belong by Beat Culture
  7. Roll The Bones by Shakey Graves
  8. D.I.Y. by Keep Shelley in Athens

Click here to play

More soon. (And yeah, that’s my dog.)

Friday Music

“Ocean” by Role. Atmospheric, loop-heavy, and somewhere hundreds of miles away. Just what I was looking for today.

Stuff I Like

From time to time I find stuff worth sharing and commenting on that doesn’t fit here. I also like to publish my own photography, artwork, and other media when I can, but I don’t want to overload this spot. Enter: Stuff I Like (stuff.mwillis.com), a place to throw links, creative stuff and ephemera. Expect a mix of design, web, soccer, photography, art and mascot videos, roughly in that order.

Or, in brief:

32 Nations, Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic

Well, here we are. About three weeks and 32 teams later, together we’ve explored, debated and discussed the visual identities of all 32 Nations participating in the 2014 World Cup - and we’ve created a unique design for each one. I hope you’ve enjoyed it; I know I have. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we still have one group to go. Not to be overlooked all the way at the back of the draw, Group H is an interesting mix of countries.

Belgium is trending upward, and is a consensus dark-horse World Cup finalist. With a talented, young team, a seed, a not-so-intimidating group and potentially the easiest path the the finals, they are a team to keep an eye on. Algeria didn’t qualify easily, but they have experience and, thanks to Landon Donovan, motivation. Russia are looking ahead to 2018 when they will host, but they survived a bruising European qualifying campaign, and look like potential knockout-rounders. And Korea Republic always seem to come up big in big spots - powered by their incredible fans - and there’s no reason to think they won’t again.

Group H is an exciting, and fitting, way to conclude our series. Let’s go:

Belgium

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32 Nations, Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria

Our penultimate group has a lot to love: nations from four different confederations, and four very different parts of the globe. Argentina is a strong favorite, of course - they seem incredibly likely to move on from this group of four - but the other spot is anyone’s guess. Bosnia-Herzegovina are making their World Cup debut as an independent nation, and strong qualifying play notwithstanding, it’s tough to know just how the world stage will suit them. Iran haven’t had much success, yet, in a World Cup, but are always one of Asia’s toughest sides. And Nigeria have the talent and experience to make things interesting for the higher seeds, but their form next summer is far from certain.

I say Argentina (with confidence) and Nigeria (with hesitation) pull it off. From a visual perspective, Group F is unique - it’s the group the fewest fiery red/orange/yellow colors, almost none at all to speak of. Cool colors (blues, whites and greens) dominate. Will that give the matches in the group a distinctive tenor? And what does that mean for their 32 Nations designs? Let’s check it out.

Argentina

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32 Nations, Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

We’re coming down the home stretch now - just three groups left to get us all the way to 32 teams. As I was working on these designs before the draw, I frequently wondered what configurations would create my favorite design group. I was thinking it would have a world power or two, maybe an interesting underdog, or an especially diverse color palette. I wasn’t even close to guessing that it would be a group made up of Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras. But here we are: front to back, this group is my favorite collection of the 32 Nations project.

(Where do I see the teams finishing? I’ll give Ecuador and France the nod to move on, with Honduras spoiling Switzerland’s Cup.)

Let’s get to the designs.

Switzerland

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