What will our Olympic memories be made of?

This week, in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, we’ve run a series looking at the design ‘icons’ of the Games.


We’ve taken an in-depth look at the logo, the mascots, the torch, the stadium and the medals. But when we look back at the Games in five or ten years time, will these be the images that we think of?

Or will it be something more banal, more everyday? Could it be the colour of the running track, with Gareth Hague’s 2012 Olympic font embossed on it?

2012 typeface on the Olympic track

Source: Locog/Steve Bates

2012 typeface on the Olympic track

Could it be (for the luckier ones) the signs on the pillars in the Olympic stadium, the flowers in the Olympic park? Or (for the majority of us) the colours of the BBC TV studio?

Is there an iconic Olympic image still out there waiting to be discovered? My enduring memory of the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, for example, isn’t the logo, or the stadium, but the view from the diving pool at Montjuic, as the TV cameras panned over the city skyline.


The Diving Pool at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics

In design terms, the last few weeks, months and years have been about the big concept, the big launches, and seeing the iconic objects build up.

The next few weeks, by contrast, will be all about the feel of these objects and designs, how they impose themselves into our lives and how we rub up against them.

Flowers outside the Olympic Stadium

Source: ODA

Flowers outside the Olympic Stadium

This is the time when the hidden beauties, or the hidden flaws, in all these things will become apparent.

And this is the time that will shape our memories of them for years to come.

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

    They’re using that awful typeface on the track?! Yuck.

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

    So far, it has to be the details for me. I don’t think the park and stadiums match Munich or Barcelona, but the flower beds are amazing. The volunteers. Lots of genuine personalities, some hilarious entertainers among them. And I’ve loved the view from the stands at Horse Guard parade.

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