So, 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.
I remembered the word I forgot to use yesterday. I wanted to call it a “Two-Year-Old’s Tangram“…
As with any popular cultural issue-of-the-moment, you’ll find that although many people comment, one blogger will emerge to summarise the mood. This week, the honours are with Chris Applegate, and his definitive summary:
this was a logo designed with print in mind with little clue as to how it will appeal to an Internet generation. It confuses garish with interesting, and smacks of a deeply insecure yearning to be relevant and appealing to youth, despite being about twenty years out of date. It totally disregards Olympic history or actual diversity in favour of an incredibly narrow-minded preconceptions. In short, it’s a baffled designer left behind by the digital age, splurging their mid-life crisis over an Olympic Games that will only make them feel even older, with all the élan and comfort of a 40-year-old dad of two at a Klaxons gig