Dressing the London 2012 Olympics
With the London 2012 Olympics now just over a week away, we’re starting to see how the Olympics identity is being applied to venues, the Olympic Park, transport routes, and the wider capital.
The identity, as you all will doubtless remember, was created by Wolff Olins and unveiled in 2007 to a rather dubious reception. Since then, the branding has been taken up by Futurebrand and Locog’s design team.
We’ve already seen Futurebrand’s work on touchpoints including the tickets and the official Olympics shops, and now we’re able to see how the branding is being applied to the Olympic venues themselves.
Patrick on Creative Review was last week taken on a tour of the Olympic Park to see how the branding work is bedding in, and now Locog has also unveiled images of the first fully dressed venue – the Water Arena, designed by David Morley Architects.
Locog says this demonstrates how the ‘look of the Games’ will be rolled out across the 32 sporting venues and 61 non-competition venues.
Further impressive stats include the boast that the designs have been applied to more than 250 000 individual designs – from medals to tickets to 70 000 individual buttons on the uniforms for the ‘Games makers’.
The Water Arena dressing shots demonstrate Locog’s colour-coding approach to venue dressing, also seen on the tickets. So blues are used for the water-sports arenas (as seen here) while purple is used at the Olympic Stadium, and oranges and magenta for indoor and contact sports including cycling, weightlifting and boxing.
Locog says it has worked with broadcasters and photographers for the last three years to create the best backdrop for the sporting action.
The venue dressing is just one part of a wider branding scheme that, according to Locog, ‘extends across every aspect of the Games, from spectator arrival into Heathrow all the way through to the colours and designs of seats in the venues’.
Those of you in London will have seen banners and flags appearing on London streets – like the ones hanging on Oxford Street outside the Design Week office – and stickers and wayfinding popping up on the Tube and public transport.
In fact, local authorities around the UK have been given a range of material and guidelines, from banners and bunting to instructions on how to develop floral displays, to allow them to create their own Olympic dressing.
When the initial Olympics identity was first unveiled, its reception was, it’s fair to say, far from enthusiastic. This is due, in part, to the classic dilemma of having to critique a ‘brand’ without seeing anything of that ‘brand’ beyond an isolated logo.
Whatever you think of the aesthetics, you have to respect Futurebrand and Locog’s work to apply the Olympics branding as a triumph of logistics – across innumerable touchpoints and with innumerable partners.
Next week Design Week will be taking another look at the Olympics identity – as part of a pre-Games series on Olympic designs – and asking whether or not people’s opinion of the identity has changed since 2007. We’d love to hear from you. What do you think of it now?