Commemorative stamps are a great way for countries all over the world to capitalize on national pride, and there’s no greater opportunity to showcase that pride than the World Cup. But from a design perspective, most World Cup stamps frankly aren’t so classy. At best, they feature a triumphant player or a soccer ball sailing into a goal. And at worst? These bizarre commemorative stamps from North Korea.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Portuguese graphic design studio MAAN doesn’t think so either. Their series of World Cup stamps are an abstract tribute to the game, without a single grunting player or FIFA game ball in sight.
Each of MAAN’s World Cup Stamps is based on a diagonal grid system of multi-colored polygons, which, the designers say, create a visual rhythm while nodding to the movement of the game. When combined, the polygons evoke the national flag of each World Cup team. As for the implied movement, think players running diagonally up and down a soccer pitch.
MAAN’s World Cup Stamps are undeniably beautiful, but we wonder if they’re a little too abstract for their own good. These are subtle tributes to the hidden geometry of a beautiful game, but most people don’t love soccer for its subtlety. They love it for the adrenaline rush, which these stamps fail to capture.