London 2012 Olympics New Logo a disaster!

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I was looking at the recently revealed London 2012 new logo at http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A23431826 and cringed for a second. What is it? An Olympic logo? My god!

The crazed colors and the rugged almost child like graphic images felt too painful to look at. The chairperson for the London 2012 Olympics said “This is the vision at the very heart of our brand”. What vision? What brand?

What are they trying to comunciate? Seb Coe, the chair person said “it act as a remindinder of our promise to use the Olympic spirit to inspire every one and reach out to young people around the world”. How do they hope to accomplish this with this really confused looking logo?

Look at a list of alternative London 2012 Olympic logos and compare them to the top 10 Olympics logos. Most of those look FAR better than the one that has been selected. There is even an effort to get the logo changed by a petition that was launched.

So if we consider what Seb says, then the use of jagged shapes is an attempt to attract “young people” from around the world. So what are they hoping young people would see in this image? What about the color? Why pink?

Initially I thought that the jagged shapes really stood for some thing. Could the top left hand shape be “2” and the rest of the shapes make up “2012”? What about the dot in the center?

Another important drawback with this logo is that when scaled down the 5 rings of the Olympic emblem can hardly be seen. I am seriously thinking of coming up with a few designs myself and posting them here.

I love Seth Godin’s take on this.

Another London 2012 Design Disaster

The London 2012 Olympic Games have not even begun, but they have already set a record. This record is for design controversy. It seems that every new design, from the logo onward, has created an outcry, not just in the design community but in the general public as well. We heard almost immediate grumbling upon the release of the design for the Olympic medals this week.

What is causing the uproar? If you look at the medals, they have Nike, the Olympic Goddess of Victory, on one side with the London 2012 logo on the other side. The image of Nike is used on all Summer Olympic medals, so no controversy there! The 2012 logo is placed in front of a wavy line and several straight ones. The outside rim will be engraved with the sport of the winner.

The wavy line behind the London 2012 logo design is meant to represent the River Thames, an icon associated with London in the UK and throughout the world. It also gives a feeling of movement and somewhat softens the jagged lines that dominate this side of the medals. The straight lines are meant to ‘radiate energy and represent athlete’s achievements and effort’ while the square around the logo is supposed to look like a map inset, donating a sense of place. Last, the ribbons holding the medals will all be royal purple, a colour chosen to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee.

Another note about the medals: they are truly international when you consider the sources of ore for them, which will come from mines located in both the United States and Mongolia. The medals will be produced at the headquarters of the Royal Mint in South Wales later this year.

So the medals tie into the Olympic Games history while referring specifically to the event next year as well as relating to the UK specifically. ‘What’s the problem?’ many may ask. The problem, of course, is that they are just ugly. Design is meant to communicate, but it should also be aesthetically appealing. To many people in the UK, the designs associated with the London 2012 Olympics are anything but appealing. Indeed, the entire event seems plagued with bad design. The London 2012 logo was released to major criticism more than a year ago, and every new design related to the event seems to bring up the same raw emotion and contempt.

It is good to remember that, once the event is over, no one will care to remember how they felt about the UK logo design. People will quickly move on to the next huge event in the UK. Indeed, the logo and the other design aspects will be one of the least memorable aspects of the Games. Also, however the public feels about the design of these medals, there is one group of people who will not be hating them: the athletes who win them. We have a feeling that the winners will be pleased and proud to call one or more of these eyesores their very own.

London 2012 Logo Controversy

There is perhaps no UK logo design more discussed and written about than the London Olympics 2012 logo. However, as the games approached, the furor has somewhat calmed down. Now the design has reached another ‘bump in the road’, this time not from angry Londoners but from halfway across the globe in Iran.

The design has been controversial because many in London disliked its style. In addition, the bright color palette and flashy advertising campaign that accompanied the logo design were claimed to cause seizures in people with epilepsy and other neurological disorders. The somewhat abstract design has been compared to everything from a swastika to people engaged in intimate activities. In addition, the UK government paid a bundle for the logo—more than many felt was necessary. However, Iran dislikes the London 2012 logo design not for its color or its eighties retro design, but because the government of the Middle Eastern nation believes that it spells out the word ‘Zion’.

This new complaint was released this week, four years after the logo design was unveiled. Iran is serious about its allegations, backing them up with a former protest filed with the International Olympic Committee. Iran is threatening to boycott the Olympic Games unless the design is changed and the creators held accountable for what the nation considers a disgrace. Iran believes that many Middle Eastern countries will follow them in their boycott of the games.

The letter to the IOC was released via the state-backed organization Iranian Students Agency. This may not be the first time a large population was unhappy with an Olympic logo design, but it represents the first time that a country has threatened to boycott over design alone.

We had to crane our necks to see how this design could be interpreted as the word Zion—you have to read from top to bottom and look at the letters from a variety of angles before you can see any resemblance. At this point, the British government has not expressed any intention of changing the UK logo design, although they may be forced to do so if the International Olympic Committee orders a new logo to appease Iran.

That seems unlikely right now, as the IOC released a statement that the logo refers to the year of the games and nothing else. The London 2012 spokesperson also released a statement, expressing surprise that the complaint is being lodged several years after the design was unveiled. For now, it seems that the London 2012 logo will remain untouched, even if Iran and other countries decide to boycott because of it.

Iran has a lot to lose from the threatened boycott of the event. The country competes in several Olympic sports and won two medals at the last Summer Olympics and six in Athens in 2004. Hopefully the situation can be resolved to the satisfaction of everyone involved; after all, the Olympics are supposed to be about good sportsmanship, not bickering.

London 2012 ‘Get Set’ Logo Design

The UK wants for its youth to be more involved in the upcoming 2012 Olympics and has thus set up a programme to educate youth about the games. This programme, called ‘Get Set’, is designed to increase ambition and excitement about this major London event. Educators can enrol their students in the programme and receive a variety of free materials designed to interest and inspire young students.

How better to involve youth in an event than to ask their help in creating it? In this case, the programme education logo design is the element that youth will be designing. This logo, which will be an inset in the standard London 2012 Olympics logo, is hoped to rally youth and increase awareness of the event while motivating students to do their best in all endeavors.

Budding logo designers between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one will be eligible to submit a proposed logo design. The only other requirement is that the designer be involved in a full time or part time education programme. The winning logo will be available to everyone who joins the programmes and likely get a lot of public attention. This is a prime opportunity for an aspiring young designer looking for that first big opportunity to prove his or herself as a true professional.

There are several positive aspects of this unconventional manner of developing a logo. First, no one understands youth better than themselves. These young people will likely understand what images, colours, and designs attract and inspire others their own age. They know their genre in a way that the average government employee doesn’t.

Second, the London 2012 logo is ultra modern and designed to appeal to youth. This market particularly enjoys interactive experiences and being asked for input. Simply calling for submissions is a good marketing move, regardless of the results. It shows that the people running the Olympic Games care about this crucial market and have respect for their talents. The youth of the UK will likely take this assignment seriously and submit a range of thoughtfully designed logos.

It’s hard to see a disadvantage here. The London 2012 has been widely disparaged in the media, so the government has nothing to lose in appealing to their key market for this particularly youth-oriented programme. If anything, this logo design will at least cost less than its predecessor, which despite its price has failed to inspire the nation.

Logo design contests are rarely a good idea for small businesses, because the results invariably are amateur. The end result may be visually attractive, but it rarely speaks the subtle language of logo design. However, a government organization is already established and already giving a strong message—in this case, of dedication to the young people of London and the UK. The appeal to youth alone may be able to turn this situation into a huge advantage. Another key difference is that this logo design will only be used for two years, while the average logo must withstand the lifespan of a business.