Time for design to shine at the Commonwealth Games

The design trajectory of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has been remarkably similar to that of the London Olympics two years ago.

For both Games, an identity was launched several years before the event and greeted with a mixed reception.

Both the Wolff Olins-designed 2012 logo and Marque Creative’s 2014 identity have been criticised by observers who feel they are inappropriate and who fail to see how they could be applied to such high-profile events.

And just as Futurebrand took on the baton from Wolff Olins to roll out the 2012 look, Marque has also been replaced, in the case by Scottish consultancies Tayburn and Tangent Graphic, working on brand strategy and art direction respectively.

The design work unveiled for both Games has been reasonably hit and miss. In both cases the baton designs (by Barber & Osgerby for London and 4c Design for Glasgow) have been impressive, and in both cases the mascot and costume designs rather less so…

In spite of a reasonable amount of negativity in the run-up to the Games, the London 2012 Olympics is seen in hindsight as a design success, and a demonstration of Britain’s creative capabilities on a world stage.

Tangent Graphic's Commonwealth Games pictograms
Tangent Graphic’s Commonwealth Games pictograms

This success was down to a number of factors – Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, the stadia, the organisation and the fact that the London 2012 identity – in application – actually worked rather well.

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games kicks off tonight and we hope that it can continue to follow the design trajectory of London 2012 and come to be seen as a much-admired example of, in this case, Scotland’s design capabilities.


You can see our features on all the key Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games design projects – from the logo to the medals to the mascot – here.

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  • John Frieda November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    The 2012 identity was mildly successful in hindsight because FutureBrand had to overhaul Wolff-Olins original design, only retaining original logo.

    You’re pretty much guaranteed to find no evidence of the original launch identity (fit inducing brand video included) on WO’s website or through searching Google.

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