London 2012 Olympic games branding

This morning, I’ve been asked by tube paper Metro to provide a comment on the new London 2012 logo.

Here is my full comment, obviously edited down for the news item:

Wolff-Ollins are known for creating innovative solutions, but perhaps they got trapped in a “design by committee” situation this time. It will be interesting to see how this logo evolves by 2012.

While focusing on the digits of the year 2012 helped avoid some clichés of past Olympic emblems (torches, figures jumping, etc…), it left the brand slightly hollow, robbing it of a clear message. The youth-appeal box has been ticked, and there’s an obvious influence of new-york graffiti emblems of the 80s – a style that is making a retro-chique come-back at the moment.

At the end of the day, it is unclear if it fully answered the brief of “access, participation, stimulation and inspiration”, and if it can have the mass appeal required to create “everyone’s games”. It’s a shame the opportunity to capture the spirit of vibrant cosmopolitan London has been missed, and it is highly debatable if the stylistic choices made will still seem fresh in five years.

Metro article link

I should add here: I couldn’t find the full identity anywhere, only the logo, I expect that the full identity is well thought out, but maintain my position on this problematic logo. The creative peter principle?

Also – have a look at some past logos. Some of them are quite striking – like the Munich or Moscow logos. Logos from Athens and Barcelona may be tamer, but at least provide clarity of message.

(and yes… I can see the little man dancing)

some contributions from BBC users.

A follow up post

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