Jagged Little Pill

2012olympics_logoSo, a new logo has been launched for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Lord Coe says it was designed to appeal to young people. I can only assume he means the knife-weilding, feral youths we hear so much about, for the logo resembles nothing so much as a pile of broken glass.

I do applaud the London Games’ committment to inclusivity and the inspiration of youth… but it is cringe-incuding to read the attempts by Tessa Jowell, Ken Livingstone, Lord Coe, Colin Moynihan (the Chairman of the British Olympic Association) and the IOC President Jacque Rogge to claim that the Olympic values are somehow embodied in the graphic design. A new logo can never do that – especially one as simple as that unveiled today. In fact, logos and brands only accquire their wider meaning, only become symbolic, after the organisation proves to the public what its values are, through its deeds. The colourful rings already have those positive associations, so it is odd that they are sidelined in the London 2012 logo, and that the bold colours are abandoned in favour of a tasteless blue.

The logo also comes in ugly pink, violent orange, and bogey green, but all versions carry a clashing yellow border. Lord Coe says that the logo will ‘evolve’ between now and 2012, and I predict that the demise of this outline will be the first ‘evolution’. This would leave a monochrome logo, which will become instantly more versatile.

And I don’t like the font either.

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New writing styles

A few months ago, I mentioned that new digital mediums might affect editorial requirements for the written word. This will have an impact on journalists, whether they like it or not, and all should seek to understand the implications of 21st century technology even if they have no intention of writing anything online themselves.

A good and entertaining example of how reporting is being changed by ‘instant’ media can be found in the sphere of sports journalism. Both the BBC, and some mobile phone networks provide live text updates on matches. These are a great way to keep up with the score if, for some reason, you cannot listen to the live commentary. Each significant event is described in just one paragraph, or (in the case of Orange mobile phone service) one sentence. The tone is chatty, opinionated and partisan… as if it is your best mate keeping you updated. The more prosaic sports journalism we read in newspapers would be impractical and inappropriate for this particular purpose, and has no place here.

This is, of course, a type of live-blogging – nothing new for those already online. The point is simply that this is a style of paid journalism that has evolved with the new technology… technology that could yet leave other writers stranded.

another wicket falls

Ritual egg-laying: Scotland 15 – 44 Australia

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Scotland win this particular line-out, but were outclassed overall by the Aussies.

I don’t know what other residents of Edinburgh think of rugby weekends, but I’ve always enjoyed the flash floods of kilts and colour down Corstophine Road and Dalry Road. I the atmosphere which surrounds rugby matches is of course more festive and friendlier than football. This is probably because the football matches in Edinburgh are usually at club level, where the rivalries art local and more acute. Rugby matches, on the other hand, are internationals, meaning the visiting fans treat the match as an excuse for a holiday. Inside the ground, home and away supporters are not segregated, and we saw Australian flags waving alongside the Saltire.
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