London Olympics 2012 Logo

London Logo 2012

I can’t say I like this new logo designed for the London Olympics 2012 – in fact I think it’s outright ugly. The colors hurt my eyes as much as they are loud, while the shapes look haphazard except for the requisite “2012” embedded within. For a lack of a more elegant way of putting it, I shall block quote from retry:

This is the logo unveiled recently for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Lord Coe, the guy who spoke at this auspicious event said “London 2012 is inspired by you and it’s for all of you.” The people of London are wondering WTF they did to deserve that comment. The thinking was sound: Olympic viewing will take place on a lot of media devices in 5 years time so they wanted a recognisable shape that can work across lots of platforms. Yet it should not look like Lisa Simpson giving a blow job. I love the bold intention to create an original Olympic ID and break from Otl Aicher’s Berlin ID (enough with ancient history! most of us weren’t born when that work was done.) I’m disappointed that the execution will open it up to massive criticism and give smug design/client conservatives one more arrow.

Lisa Simpson giving a blowjob indeed! Haha, I couldn’t remove that mental image after this comment was made, much like the hidden arrow in Fedex’s logo (I apologize if I have irreparably rid your mind’s ability to look at this logo simply as a London Olympics logo). An excerpt of some of the (predominantly negative) reactions on the BBC Sports Blog as well:

Is this supposed to be one of those picture puzzles that eventually makes sense after slowly refocussing your mind’s eye?

It looks like a logo designed for young people by old people who don’t understand young people.

Like the 2012 Committee had a student intern who said he could use Photoshop and they said ‘Great, you can design the logo’.

Disjointed and dysfunctional, a graphic mess and also underwhelming and uninspiring.

It’s awful isn’t it. I just can’t decide which bit of it I hate the most.

Oh,dear! This is so sad. Aren’t Logos meant to sum up the spirit of something and capture a vision. This one only seems to evoke derision.

This is foul beyond words and a total embarrassment to a world leader in design. which London is (or was).

For better or for worse, the logo seemed to have rallied a great majority of Londoners (if only in opposition of a common enemy) – it’s like a grand party of universal condemnation, seeing who has the wittiest retort for the design. Oh well, Creative Review has more to say (a more neutral and considered article). If you liked this logo, don’t be afraid – you’re not alone either!

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17 comments so far

  1. […] It is the nastiest logo I’ve ever seen, it is truly ugly.  The blog Gems Sky did a nice little writeup on the logo and people impressions of […]

  2. martien heijmink on

    The respons on the BBC site was huge: almost 3000 people responded that same day. Most of them rejected the design. It is interesting (and fun to read) how many different ways there are to express your disgust. The guy who claimed that he ‘vommited better logo’s’ is the winner to me.

  3. […] to read more and better waffle about it? Try here and here and […]

  4. Coxsoft Art on

    “Disjointed and dysfunctional, a graphic mess and also underwhelming and uninspiring.”

    That’s the most concise condemnation of the logo I’ve read so far! Exactly. The logo is the exact opposite of what everyone hoped to achieve. And the latest in this fiasco is that the video ad has been cancelled because the flashing caused people to have epileptic fits! Whoever designed that video ignored the protocols on flash timings that TV companies are supposed to observe to avoid giving their viewers epileptic fits.

    It’s a total disaster. £400,000! Of Londoners’ money! Refund! Resign!

  5. Gems Sty on

    Yup, for me the intention was noble (dynamic, youth, fitting various mobile viewing gadgets/platforms, etc); but the design execution was a let-down. Oh well! Let’s see what happens to it!

  6. Sam on

    There’s quite a fun competition on the go at this site: http://www.better2012logo.com/
    You can submit your own proposed design for the games. Anything has gotta be better than the original in my opinion.

  7. salva on

    a friend of mine told me that all he saw in this logo was lisa simpson giving a bl*wj*b

  8. i'm that friend on

    Yeah I told him that

  9. a miserable git on

    Is it possible that, hilarious as the logo is, it’s actually a clever establishment plot to divert attention away from the expensive social degeneration vehicle that is the olympics? Some of the commentary on it gives me the impression that, if the logo had been cool rather than resembling internet porn, there wouldn’t be a problem. Fortunately it’s utterly toss so we can all liberally rip the piss without any fear of actually upsetting anyone.

  10. Gems Sty on

    Hi miserable git,

    Why’d you say that the olympics is a social degeneration vehicle? (I could think of why it’d be expensive, or perhaps even the massive infrastructure/relocation efforts to accommodate the games…what else?)

  11. RoC on

    I’ve read a few articles about this now… And the design firm is still trying to stand by
    their design… I’m curious to see the mark “in action,” but I’m still don’t think I’ll be
    impressed. Simply put… design is subjective, and in my humble opinion… this
    is pretty bad design regardless of how it’s intended to be used.

    I kind of agree with the statement below, but I still think it’s a cop-out defense for bad design:

    “Jim Richardson of Sumo Design has pointed out at designweek.co.uk that
    the negativity damages the way the design profession is perceived by the
    public and devalues its work in the eyes of clients.”

    And I think this statement is ridiculous:

    “It is typical of our profession and our country to knock this logo before we
    have had a chance to see how it works.”

    If the design doesn’t work on its own, then what difference does it make
    if it sort of works in context?

    In a word: Lame.

  12. Gems Sty on

    RoC: I’m also quite curious to see the mark “in action” too – the promise of versatility and adaptability while retaining its unique look across different media. It’s one thing to promise that the logo has these capabilities, it’s another to execute them (and do them way better than the current static logo).

  13. VivienneQuek on

    I guess the Brits did not like it because there is no nationalistic pride in the logo. Nationalism is evident in the graphical execution of the logo for
    Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

  14. Stranger on

    The Times said there were a number of fits after the Logo video was shown too

  15. Gems Sty on

    Vivienne: Hey, that’s an insightful observation that didn’t occur to me~ indeed perhaps they felt disappointed after being represented as what they might’ve perceived as amateur, irrelevant and “un-London”. They won’t be too happy especially after all that campaining for London for the games.

    Stranger: Yup, that’s true – there were reports that the video triggered some epileptic fits – though that has probably less to do with the design per se, but more of the way it’s used (flashing).

  16. Lisa on

    The design is stupid
    -it’s too simple and stupid.
    -it’s just shapes and pushing it for art.
    -it’s pathetic
    -it’s lame
    -it’s a bad reflection on London.

  17. […] also the ones behind the London 2012 Olympic logo, which I didn’t find too impressive (and blogged here). The logo was along the same thought – promising versatility and flexibility in usage – but I […]


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