Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

Behind the New York Cosmos logo

New York Cosmos logo
Wayland Moore created the New York Cosmos logo 40 years ago

What was your inspiration behind your New York Cosmos logo?
First it must be recognizable at a glance, it must show movement of soccer.

NY Cosmos: What is the inspiration behind the shapes and color?
Shapes create movement to the ball while the colors depict other nationalities. Clive picked the colors because they’re bright and fit the great outdoors of stadiums.

NY Cosmos: What do you call the three “blade” shapes on the logo?
Movement… at first I was thinking of using the shapes as the Boroughs of New York but that complicated the visual design.

Taken from this interview with Wayland Moore: A Conversation With The Artist Behind The Logo, via @id29.

New York Cosmos logo

When saying that the colours depict “other nationalities” it’s fairly obvious there’s a Brazilian influence. And actually, when the team was founded in 1971, general manager Clive Toye chose the green and yellow of the Brazilian national team as part of his strategy to lure Pelé to the United States.

The Cosmos pulled-off it’s transfer coup during the 1975 season by finally signing Pelé. That very season, the kit was changed to all-white in imitation of his club in Brazil, Santos. According to Wikipedia, Pelé joined on a salary of $1.4 million per year, equal to about $6 million in 2011.

Franz Beckenbauer was another famous player to have donned the Cosmos jersey.

Pelé retired two years later in 1977, a year that marked the start of the decline for the North American Soccer League. The league eventually folded in 1984 due to falling attendances and a lack of interest among the US media.

New York Cosmos logo Pele
Image courtesy of The Right Winger

“The Cosmos name and brand was sold to English businessman Paul Kemsley in 2009, whose group, fronted by Pelé and including many well-known soccer figures, announced a new team with the Cosmos’ name in August 2010. As of January 2011, the new Cosmos are attempting to become an MLS (Major League Soccer) expansion franchise.”
— WIKIPEDIA

Sports related posts on Logo Design Love:
Fifa World Cup logos
Brazil World Cup logo 2014
Sports brand logo designs

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

9 appreciated comments

  1. Nice one! Have you seen the Tottenham Hot Spurs football logo? I just love that one…

  2. When I think of New York in conjunction with “Cosmo” it’s hard to think of anything besides Kramer (but then again, I’m a bit of a Seinfeld junkie).

  3. I really like how the “blades” show movement in the logo, even if it wasn’t mentioned the viewer would still get that impression; even in the black/white version!

  4. justinmorris.ca

    ^^ billy:

    the current Spurs logo is nice but i love their original version too. tons of history in these old logos. as a graphic artist and massive football supporter (soccer!) i started collecting old memoribilia and now i am using for reference on a poster series that i am doing.

    big up Pele.

  5. Great post,

    As Theraisa said – the blades really make the logo and I absolutely love the colours. Like Justin said, these old logos have tons of history and are always great to read about – keep them coming! : )

  6. I can only ‘dream’ that one day one of my logo’s will grace your pages. Great site by the way very good learning platform for the likes of me.
    Leah

  7. NTL FAB

    What I never can understand is why the obvious connection between the Cosmos logo and the Atlantic records logo is not mentioned.
    If some of you don’t know, the Cosmos were partial formed by the presidents of Atlantic records. It can’t be coincidence.
    Here is a graphic comparision:
    http://i55.tinypic.com/2ilfqs8.jpg

  8. I watched an interview with Eric Cantona on Saturday. He was sporting a Cosmos’ jacket, and turns out he’s one of the “stars” behind the reinvention of the team. Interested to see where things go.

  9. I’d never seen this logo but being an Australian football/soccer fan I can’t help but see the similarities with this and the Central Coast Mariners logo.

    Central Coast Mariners logo


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