Designers are less than impressed with what has been dubbed the EastEnders-style identity for London’s 2012 Olympic bid, unveiled on Monday.
The controversial marque drew glum reactions, largely due to the alleged mis-handling of the design competition itself.
Created by Kino Design, it depicts the River Thames as a weaving ribbon in the five Olympic colours.
Kino creative director Andy Stanfield says the choice of the River Thames came naturally when considering how London could be represented without making reference to architectural landmarks.
‘It was then a matter of what to do with the river and we felt putting it through the words was a simple and compact solution,’ he adds. ‘Just the Thames by itself seemed a bit boring. The ribbon gives the identity more flexibility.’
However, other designers are disappointed with the result. Although ‘pleased that someone small has won’ the competition, Duffy managing director Tim Watson says, ‘It’s not a great vision of London and isn’t going to [generate] a groundswell of emotion.’
Fitch London creative director Tim Greenhalgh questions the originality of the theme. ‘When we looked at doing it, we decided against any idea that used the river,’ he says. ‘Every great city has a river, not just London.’
GBH creative director Mark Bonner thinks the simplicity of the brief is at fault for ‘yielding the first things that come to mind’.
He says the design lacks ‘the gravitas and grandeur you would need from a marque of this importance’.
Bonner adds, ‘People do make judgements based on identity and this punches below its weight for a British bid.’
Atelier Works creative director Quentin Newark says he has ‘seen worse’, but thinks the logo is ‘very literal’. He adds, ‘It’s not really a logo, no process of reduction has taken place. It’s more like the title of the bid – done with a flourish.’
Stanfield naturally defends the design, saying the identity will work ‘beyond the symbol itself’.