As the London 2012 organisers and Wolff Olins get their thoughts together on how to deal with the negative reaction to this week’s £400 000 branding launch, the work continues to invite widespread condemnation.
At the launch on Monday, Lord Coe and the games’ chief executive officer Paul Deighton heralded the emblem as ‘dynamic, vibrant, contemporary, flexible and inspiring’, representing a ‘savvy world where people no longer relate to static logos but to a brand that works across traditional and new media networks’.
However, a raft of largely critical reactions have been flooding in to www.designweek.co.uk, and other news outlets, labelling the branding as visually confusing, disappointing, embarrassing and disjointed.
An on-line petition, signed by more than 21 000 people, has been set up to ‘call on the London Olympic Committee to scrap and change the ridiculous logo unveiled for the London 2012 Olympics’.
At the same time, there has been a degree of camaraderie among designers who have said it was a difficult task to live up to; and that it will appeal to the target audience of young people and work well across digital media.
Jim Richardson of Sumo Design has pointed out at designweek.co.uk that the negativity damages the way the design profession is perceived by the public and devalues its work in the eyes of clients. ‘When people ask why Wolff Olins was paid £400 000 for this identity, they are seeing just a marque, which they don’t like,’ he says. ‘A huge amount of research and development has been put into creating an identity. It is typical of our profession and our country to knock this logo before we have had a chance to see how it works.’
William Higham of trends consultancy Next Big Thing says, ‘It is looking at how the Olympic Games are going to be presented and broadcast over the next five years. They had to give the brand mobility to work across mobile phones and mobile TV.’
Wolff Olins was briefed to devise an emblem that represented access, participation, stimulation and inspiration. It aims to be flexible and to be read by people of all ages around the world. The consultancy declined to comment as Design Week went to press.