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.
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.
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.”