Forget the old farts, just celebrate what makes Britain great

Wolff Olins’ design for the 2012 Olympics is a masterpiece.

It is a brilliantly conceived media platform, and its true potential will only be fully appreciated when the realisations go to press and on to screen in five years’ time.

The design industry does itself no credit by bitching and sniping. It is easy to say, ‘What I would have done’, and your magazine recently seems to have been full of old farts saying just this. What they should say is, ‘What a bold effort from a great competitor’.

Well done, Wolff Olins. They could have taken the safe route of tweaking the five interlocking circles, but they chose the risk of something new and different. Isn’t that what this country is all about?

Greg Rees, Spectrum Design Recruitment, by e-mail

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  • Graeme Bell November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    No Greg, commenting in a less than a 100% positive way on Wolff Olins’ identity for 2012 isn’t “carping and sniping”, nor is it restricted to those of an elderly and flatulent persuasion. It’s what’s known in the trade as free speech and honest comment.

    No designer and no client gets every single project right, and though Wolff Olins has a long and distinguished track record, it’s clear that it has missed the mark by some distance this time round. Whether primary responsibility lies with the designers or the client, those of us outside the loop will never know, so to criticise the logo is not to criticise the designers per se – we’re all a bit more grown-up than that.

    I have no idea what a ‘media platform’ is, and more importantly neither do the vast majority of people exposed to this identity. However I would venture that the following is fairly indisputable: the font in which ‘london’ is rendered is astonishingly inelegant, and could have been bettered by most of the UK’s superb crop of typographers. It’s also clear that the logo is designed as a canvas onto which corporate sponsors can paint their marketing message. Certainly a new idea in this context, but one which is unutterably depressing – the final nail in the coffin of the Olympic ideal which is surely worth so much more than grubby commercialism. And an identity which is loathed and ridiculed for five long years till it might in the end be “fully appreciated” is hardly fit for purpose.

    Finally we might all wish that the ‘untutored’ tastes of the Great British Public co-incided with our own a bit more often, but the sheer volume of vitriol and ridicule heaped on this identity are far more than a media-inspired witchhunt – most people (including the target ‘yoof’) really do not seem to like it, and sadly that means it has failed.

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