Olympics branding to remain

Despite the mass media attention surrounding the London 2012 Olympics identity, the games’ committee has decided that the controversial branding will not be changed.

Following widespread condemnation, petitions and calls for the Wolff Olins work to be redesigned, Locog maintains that it will evolve and is sticking to the assertion that the branding is ‘bold, modern and flexible’. Key games sponsors, including Visa and Lloyds TSB, have reacted positively to what they see as the creative flexibility afforded by the work.

A spokesman for London 2012 says that the aim is for the branding to evolve. ‘It is so early on, we are looking forward to 2012, and clearly things will have moved on by then. There will be more engagement through the games with the Internet and mobiles. This logo reflects that the future is certainly one of the things we have thought about. It has got to reach young people, and the best way to do that is through mobiles and websites.’

‘This is a departure from using landmarks, like the Sydney Opera House for the Sydney Olympics, and this is because London is a unique city and we don’t necessarily have to push London as much because it is a global city already. Because the logo is strong, you will always get a strong reaction,’ he adds.

Separately, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has recommended to withhold payment from the production company that created the film purported to aggravate epilepsy sufferers. The company referred to is Live Communications, confirms a Locog spokesman. A spokesman for the Mayor stresses that he welcomed the logo itself on Monday.

The Locog spokesman says, ‘We took immediate steps to remove the animation from our website while checks are being conducted. The concerns are not about the design of the London 2012 logo.’

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  • Gail November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I don’t know why they didn’t get design companies to pitch for the work.

    It also seems to me the Olympics in general seems to be a licence to print money, if my facts are correct £400,000 was the bill for this piece of amateur work, seems a pretty steep price to pay for bad design.

  • J Tarrant November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I understand the challenges the 2012 logo has to face and what it has to live up to. However, I think the reaction from design professionals defending the logo is arrogant and naive. Design is subjective and open to many opinions some not always good. Criticism as long as it’s constructive is a good thing but if your design does not catch the imagination of the people it is directed at then it’s back to the drawing board. What will do the design industry damage is giving the impression to the public that the industry is unwilling to accept criticism. Companies shouldn’t forget what is important, in this case promoting the Olympics and not worrying about putting a designer’s nose out of joint.

  • Dave Rickett November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I’m a great supporter of the London Olympics but oh dear!

    I know one shouldn’t judge design solutions such as these without seeing the whole picture and future implimentations but I shouldn’t have to see the design presentations to get the message. It must have been an amazing occasion and probably would have made one of the best TV shows this year.

    Is design anarchy the new in?
    The very first example of its implimentation by a certain bank immediately dispensed with the stated corporate colours by the use of an insipid weak graduated green /blue tint and the addition of a purile commercial tag line – very graffitti. Speaking of which isn’t this saying graffitti is great – carry on hoody kids do your best and reproduce this little number all over London!

    It has some of the resonances of the dome fiasco, no connection with New Labour interference I hope. A design classic but maybe for the wrong reasons and sadly I’m not sure what Alan Fletcher might have said.

    On a really boring practical point I’ve always been part of the design school of thought that you do not put text within the mark due to scaleability and reproduction restrictions. When enlarged the choice of font is interesting – poorly constructed and spaced and one feels not to be remembered as a type classic. Worse (or maybe better) is that in reduction you can’t read the text as is evident on the official website. This is to be used by the Disabled Games as well so what happened to the legability part of the brief?

    I bet the embroidery companies are looking forward to the text and Olympic Ring challenge!

    It is always great news that design is so high on the public agenda but sad that in this case for the overwhelmingly wrong reasons – eg my kids could do that or how do we as a design industry justify the fees for such work. This makes our average fees for brand identity work here in Cornwall the bargain of the century.

    In conclusion sadly but sorry I don’t think I or my kids (the intended target audience?) will be buying the expensive T shirt.

  • P Harrison November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Is this not just another example, in this case Wolff Olins, of “its from an expensive ‘named’ agency, so it must be good”?

    Ive worked in and around the industry many years and this goes on all the time with the ‘big name’ agencies selling bad work to naive clients (the bigger the client the more naive at times), I believe the earliest example of this is the Emperors New Clothes… too often clients are blind to errors, and bad judgements made by larger global agencies, whilst the blame falls squarely on the small fish on the roster in client eyes. If Wolff Olins had been working on this with a below the line agency then surely the BTL agency would be sacked from the Olympics account!

    Bad design is bad design, wake up clients!

  • Paul November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Are Wolff Olins living in the 80s?? its awful. Though I would comment that im sure the client, in this case the London Olympic committee, has played its part in making this one of the worst pieces of design ive seen in years.

    Is this really how they want London to be perceived? I truely hope not. Ill be moving out before 2012 if im going to have to put up with that monstrosity posted up everywhere!

  • Peter Wright November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    As a British designer living in Sydney I find the debate about this logo very interesting. I experienced first hand the implementation of the Sydney Olympic logo and thought that overall it was done quite well but it also had it’s critics, because design is a subjective art form and you will never please everyone.

    But I must say that regarding the 2012 London logo I am disapointed. I look on the UK as the pinicale of world design, so much good design comes out of this country and I personally think that this attempt just does not work. I may be proven to be wrong… I hope that I am, but I have a strong feeling that people are just laughing at this attempt.

    The £400,000 cost is not an issue, as that would cover more than the development of the logo and if the logo works hard for the Olympics it will be money well spent.

    Members of the Olympic Commitie please reconsider your decision to plough ahead and listen to the people, after all it is the people with whom you are trying to communicate. I hope that it gets sorted and that the games are a huge success.

  • Marc Jones November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    They should have done an “X Factor” for it. Design companies pitching their logo and the “kids” voting. Let Coe, Livingstone and the minister for sport be the people that get pitched to and let the people decide.

    Tell me that wouldn’t have got the “kids” onside…

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