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.


Similar negativity at Pickled Politics and Tim Worstall.

Another Update

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and smacks of a deeply insecure yearning to be relevant and appealing to youth, despite being about twenty years out of date.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

4 Replies to “Jagged Little Pill”

  1. It’s revolting.
    What I don’t get, right, is that there are some really good designers in this country. I don’t know who designed this, but it certainly wasn’t one of them. Either it was done on the cheap (with 57 million, you’d think they could afford better), or else someone is being paid way too much money.
    I would like to suggest though, that a new logo actually can embody the values that a brand would like to be associated with. That is why people get paid a lot of money to design good logos, because it works.
    If the true values of the organisation are vastly at odds with the graphically-expressed values, then of course, in time, this will show, and become associated with the logo also. But in the meantime, a logo with in-built positive associations will go a long way in shaping public opinion.
    What was wrong with the lovely tube trains painted in 2012 for the bid? They weren’t bad at all.

  2. Already there is so much negativity and, at first, I thought “Oh no! here we British go again knocking anything good” but I am afraid I have to be negative too – I really think the rings should be there somehow and it just says aggression to me – someone pointed out that by the time it is reduced for badge pins etc it will just look like nothing and someone on the TV this am suggested it was a couple of the Simpsons getting up to something they shouldn’t – not sure if I agree??
    Surely there could have been some sort of competition like they do in Junior Schools – someone somewhere woould come up with something better I am sure

  3. Agree it is pants – I din’t even realise that the “broken glass” spelled out 2012 at first – it’s already managed to upset a minority as well (epelectics).
    I guess one problem with anything planned so far in advance is that even if you have a decent logo the design will inevitably look dated by the time of the event itself.
    Still, at least the cost is being met by the socialist republic of cockneys

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