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The Future: Apparently It's Much More 80s Than You Anticipated
June 4, 2007 12:15 PM   Subscribe

The British Olympic Committee unveiled the logo and branding for London 2012 today, at a cost of £400,000 (USD796,000). Reaction has been swift - a petition to change the logo or go back to the old one has already reached 10,000 signatures.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (149 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's been pointed out on several other sites that this logo looks like Lisa Simpson giving someone a blow-job.
Once you see it this way you will never be able to see it as being anything else.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 12:20 PM on June 4, 2007 [26 favorites]


Wow, that looks like something I could have made with Colorforms in the 70's. Yuck.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:21 PM on June 4, 2007


NO LISA THAT'S NOT A SAX NOO
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:22 PM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


I reckon they forgot their pitch work on the way to the big meeting and put this together with crayons in the lobby 5 minutes before the big cheeses arrived.

I like the idea that it will "evolve". Isn't that shorthand for "if everyone thinks its shit, we can always re-design it".
posted by davehat at 12:24 PM on June 4, 2007


I was going for 'crumpled bits of paper' but it does indeed look like a broken swastika.

Or, alternatively, like the design on my fifth-grade era Jams.
posted by frobozz at 12:25 PM on June 4, 2007


Wow, I just posted this same topic at the SAME SECOND that this one apppeared, or actually one second after because it was deleted fast.
Anyway, yeah.... what a disaster in graphic design.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:26 PM on June 4, 2007


Surprising. You folks across the pond seem to always get stuff like this right.
posted by wfc123 at 12:28 PM on June 4, 2007


I can only assume they've employed a futurologist who's told them that this will look excellent come 2012. It reminded me of the titles for Going Live.
posted by liquidindian at 12:28 PM on June 4, 2007


First thing I thought when I saw it this morning was broken swastika, but thanks very much for the Lisa Simpson image.
posted by yhbc at 12:29 PM on June 4, 2007


The macaroni noodles I glued onto a paper plate at Vacation Bible School that looked better than that.

Favourite quote: "It looks like something designed for young people by old people who don't understand young people... very 'dad at the disco'."

Why didn't they just ask Banksy or Hirst to do it? *g*
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:29 PM on June 4, 2007


Damn. I wish someone would pay me $796,000 to create a logo. As someone with absolutely no artistic talent whatsoever, I think the bar is sufficiently low that even I could make it over.

Just give me 10 minutes with Microsoft Paint, and I'll be ready to demo.
posted by mstefan at 12:29 PM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


To be honest, I think the Logo is fine. For whatever reason, the Olympics seems to occupy a completely unique design space. Every couple of years, we get treated to the latest attempt at the most international and yet inoffensive art that can be conceived. Sometimes it's actually kind of compelling.

...

Although now that I see Lisa giving head, that images is burned into my mind. It's bloody uncanny.
posted by Alex404 at 12:32 PM on June 4, 2007


As designed by Dudley Heinsbergen?
posted by sellout at 12:32 PM on June 4, 2007


Nice that the video makes it look like some sort of invasion from outer space, overtaking the city and destroying divers in a powerful electric blast.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:33 PM on June 4, 2007


b3ta weighs in.

aforementioned one.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:36 PM on June 4, 2007


It's amazing, the huge sums some people will pay for utter crap. It's dismaying that I don't seem to know any of them.
posted by IronLizard at 12:38 PM on June 4, 2007


It's bafflingly ugly, the colors, the concept, the lines.. And worse, there will be thousands of suckers walking around London in shell suits with that thing emblazened all over.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:38 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I finally got it! It's a stylized '2012'!
Seriously, for several minutes all I saw was jagged blobs. I wondered if maybe it was based on a map of London or something.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:39 PM on June 4, 2007


Something Awful found something awful.
posted by anthill at 12:39 PM on June 4, 2007


That is one fugly logo - how in the world can they justify the cost for developing that?! uggh!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:40 PM on June 4, 2007


Every couple of years, we get treated to the latest attempt at the most international and yet inoffensive art that can be conceived. Sometimes it's actually kind of compelling.

I dunno. I think if they tried to be merely inoffensive, it would come off better. Instead, there's the attempt at "inoffensive yet creative" which results in stuff like Athena and Phoivos. See, it's supposed "artistic" because the mascots look like the deformed drawings of a 6-year-old!

If it were just a big "L" with the olympic circles or maybe a simplified London skyline, everyone would have been happy. It's the Olympics, here. It's an opportunity for cities to binge on a multi-billion dollar rebuilding project in order to market themselves. No reason to use this as an opportunity to get creative.
posted by deanc at 12:42 PM on June 4, 2007


"This is the vision at the very heart of our brand," said London 2012 organising committee chairman Seb Coe.

This guy needs to be fired. Also, organising. LOLBRITONZ
posted by Mister_A at 12:48 PM on June 4, 2007


I finally got it! It's a stylized '2012'!

Wow. Much less apparent then the "lisa giving a blow job" or "drunk vomiting"
posted by delmoi at 12:50 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


OH. MY. GOD. NO.

The Lisa Simpson image is now burned into my head, btw. Yeah, thanks for that.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:52 PM on June 4, 2007


It's pink. Like pork!
posted by Drexen at 12:52 PM on June 4, 2007


I finally got it! It's a stylized '2012'!

Also, the "0" is supposed to be a stylized outline of London's borders, I think.

You'd think that the mark of a good work of art is to see the "text" really easily and then, as time goes on, see all of the subtleties/subtext. With this logo, it's the other way around-- you see all these bizarre features first, and only after a while do you realize that it's supposed to say "2012"
posted by deanc at 12:56 PM on June 4, 2007


[Sebastian Coe] needs to be fired.

This is what happens when you give someone a peerage and put them in charge of something because he can run the fastest. I hate Sebastian Coe.
posted by liquidindian at 12:58 PM on June 4, 2007


I finally got it! It's a stylized '2012'!

I wouldn't have seen that if it hadn't been pointed out to me (the same goes for Lisa Simpson.

The style reminds me of The Designer's Republic. Personally, I don't mind it.
posted by nofi at 12:58 PM on June 4, 2007


From time to time, I used to bring along my designers' worst work to show to clients as a straw man. The client might want to see 3 concepts, and we'd come up with 2 that we really loved, so we'd bring something incredibly boring and/or inappropriate, sure that it would be rejected swiftly.

You can't always predict clients' behavior though, and predictably, unpredictabilty raised its ugly head one day with a particularly demanding, bullying, tasteless, vulgar, well-paying client. We brought the straw man along, because the client insisted on seeing 3 ideas, and of course she picked it. Egad!

I wonder if that's what happened here. I mean, I just can't believe that there are a lot of designers out there who think this is any good or makes any sense for the Olympic Games.
posted by Mister_A at 12:58 PM on June 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Boring as it is, at least it is clear what this is.
posted by Mister_A at 1:02 PM on June 4, 2007


UPDATE: per this press release, it was designed by Wolff Olins.
posted by nofi at 1:05 PM on June 4, 2007


I hear they're getting Patrick Nagel to do portraits of all the female athletes.
posted by redteam at 1:07 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I actually don't think the logo is all that bad. It's jarring when you first look at it, sure. But I think the idea is to be 'fun' and 'whimsical'. Look at the name of the Nintendo "Wii" People freaked out when they heard it, it was just so weird. And yet, everything worked out fine.
posted by delmoi at 1:07 PM on June 4, 2007


That's horrible. I never would have seen the 2012 if it hadn't been pointed out upthread. There are a couple of better ideas even in the BBC's link to readers' submissions.

Maybe it's just a plot to get the public to come up with something better for free?
posted by dilettante at 1:07 PM on June 4, 2007


Vicky Pollard in a pink tracksuit getting down with the Elephant Man in a pink tracksuit

i don't know about the other stuff (lisa simpson, wha?), but this is just a perfect description.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 1:07 PM on June 4, 2007


I finally got it! It's a stylized '2012'!

If I hadn't read that I wouldn't have known what the hell it was. Horrible logo, just horrible.
posted by MikeMc at 1:08 PM on June 4, 2007


PercussivePaul: Seriously, for several minutes all I saw was jagged blobs. I wondered if maybe it was based on a map of London or something.

The top left-hand 2 looks a little like mainland Britain. The 0 looks a little like a map of Greater London.
posted by vbfg at 1:08 PM on June 4, 2007


It's been pointed out on several other sites that this logo looks like Lisa Simpson giving someone a blow-job.

Is that someone Eric Gill?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:08 PM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


So it is 2012! How nice that they remembered to dot the 2.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:21 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


this is for the special olympics, right?
posted by snofoam at 1:26 PM on June 4, 2007 [4 favorites]


Having done my share of crap-tacular logos, I can recognize a piece of committee-driven design a mile away. This thing utterly reeks of "suggestions" from any number of ensconced hottentots.
After about the 12th pass of "suggestions" you give-up and just start slapping-together exactly what the client wants and just keep thinking about the final bill.

That or the designers really take themselves far too seriously.

Flip a coin.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:30 PM on June 4, 2007


Joey Michaels writes "How nice that they remembered to dot the 2."

Yeah, what the hell is that dot doing there?

I like how on the main brand page, directly under the new logo, there's a video still of a very dour woman's face. It's like she doesn't quite approve of the design choice....
posted by mr_roboto at 1:32 PM on June 4, 2007


I clicked over with a "oh, how bad could it possibly be?" It's worse. It's actively ugly, and until it was pointed out upthread, I had no idea whatsoever that it was supposed to be numbers.

Now that's a design failure.
posted by Space Kitty at 1:33 PM on June 4, 2007


Make sure to watch the video if you didn't. The '80s colours fly everywhere. It's a logo for da yoof produced by people who went on a course entitled "Appealing to the Younger Market" sometime around the year of my birth.
posted by reklaw at 1:37 PM on June 4, 2007


It's a logo for da yoof produced by people who went on a course entitled "Appealing to the Younger Market" sometime around the year of my birth.

Ah. I see. It's the Poochy of Olympics logos, then.
posted by deanc at 1:40 PM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


I thought it looked a little.. Blown up.. Exploded, even. Like, you know..
KA - BOOM !!!

Is this like Batman wearing a target on his chest?
posted by Chuckles at 1:45 PM on June 4, 2007


It took me... *checks watch*... twenty minutes for me to realize that logo said "2012".
posted by phaedon at 1:52 PM on June 4, 2007


deanc: Yep, Poochy sums it up very well indeed.

So sad. Can't be too long before the inevitable climbdown, though - I don't think Olympic HQ is big and powerful enough to take the kind of abuse this logo is getting. Surely?
posted by reklaw at 1:56 PM on June 4, 2007


As we stated earlier on our blog, it's like an inukshuk meets 1989.
posted by Milkman Dan at 1:59 PM on June 4, 2007


I find it difficult to imagine how much uglier it could be if God Himself had put The Ugly upon it. The mind boggles.

The first logo in this slideshow is far, far superior (though it needs a bit of work itself, it's not ugly).
posted by chimaera at 2:02 PM on June 4, 2007


Am I the only one that doesn't think it's that bad?
posted by iloveit at 2:03 PM on June 4, 2007


Definitely check out Wolf Olins site, it is very informative:
Brands started as a stamp on a product, and became a gadget designed to get people to buy, an emotional level. Now they're becoming something bigger and different. Brands are becoming platforms.
Isn't that special.
posted by Chuckles at 2:09 PM on June 4, 2007


Oopss, link.. Wolf Olins (it is up thread anyway).
posted by Chuckles at 2:10 PM on June 4, 2007


We brought the straw man along, because the client insisted on seeing 3 ideas, and of course she picked it. Egad!
Good, god, Mister_A, haven't you learned the most important rule in design?

Never show the client anything you don't want to do. They will always pick it.

I think they drummed that one into us during freshman design.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:10 PM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


Let this be a lesson to managers that if you embrace design-by-committee, you are ultimately giving your customers a big "fuck you." That is, you care more about watering down your product and its identity to the point that very few people will find anything overtly offensive with it than actually delivering something that the majority of folks will really care for.
posted by luriete at 2:12 PM on June 4, 2007


I'm quite partial to number 8 myself
posted by Flashman at 2:13 PM on June 4, 2007


Worst logo ever.
posted by bshort at 2:17 PM on June 4, 2007


It's hideous, but there's something of a vernacular of bad design for the Olympics. The logos, official characters, etc for the Olympics have generally been hideous for the last 20 years. And hideous in this same way, sort of cartoony and adverbland.

I miss 1968.
posted by Nelson at 2:25 PM on June 4, 2007


Initial reaction: "Dude, it's the special effects from Forbidden Planet!".

I'm afraid to reopen that browser tab and see Lisa Simpson porn now.
posted by Iosephus at 2:28 PM on June 4, 2007


Am I the only one that doesn't think it's that bad?
posted by iloveit at 2:03 PM


I really like it. It is certainly better than the older logo.

This is Nude Descending a Staircase. You'll all come around...
posted by vacapinta at 2:30 PM on June 4, 2007


> I'm quite partial to number 8 myself

"LOOOODOO"?

I kind of like the winning logo. Although if they're going to crib from the 80s New Wave, I half wish there was more Neville Brody to it and less April Greiman.
posted by ardgedee at 2:39 PM on June 4, 2007


I think this is the new, western european, "i'm so happy to be alive, here's a splash of neon colors, and lots of abstraction, so we aren't criticized for leaving anyone out!" surrealism.
posted by phaedon at 2:40 PM on June 4, 2007


that is a horrible logo--it's so jagged and unfriendly. An Olympics for a fractured world?
posted by amberglow at 2:42 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


posted by ardgedee Although if they're going to crib from the 80s New Wave, I half wish there was more Neville Brody to it and less April Greiman.

April Greiman is the Members Only jacket of graphic design.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:42 PM on June 4, 2007


I half wish there was more Neville Brody to it and less April Greiman.
April Greiman would have been more layered/overlapped and screendotted. This doesn't even reach her level, but is more like a Split Enz logo from 81.
posted by amberglow at 2:43 PM on June 4, 2007


1,6, & 7 from the bbc ones are pretty good.
posted by amberglow at 2:44 PM on June 4, 2007


Finally, an Olympics-oriented graphic I can dislike more intensely than Izzy.
posted by pax digita at 2:50 PM on June 4, 2007


posted by amberglow that is a horrible logo--it's so jagged and unfriendly. An Olympics for a fractured world?

Exactly. The jagged edges, the fractured shapes, the disjointed form, and the painfully clashing colors of the "2012" letterforms symbolize terrorism, war, and chaos, suggesting the strife of today will be--and has always been--an integral part of humanity throughout time. The dwarfed and monochromatic Olympic logo suggests the games are largely irrelevant to the chaos surrounding us and is a sad, poignant commentary on their role in today's world. The logo itself is an act of graphic terrorism--it is the death of art and beauty, it affects us all, and after experiencing it, we are forever changed.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:57 PM on June 4, 2007 [14 favorites]


Hell, why should the frecking Olympics be any different than many other brand logos? You've seen Lucent's logo right? Goddamned coffee mug stain. Sherwin Williams? Let me smother all living life on the planet with blood/paint, Volvo, big blatant penis, Mother Mcdonald's breasts...

et bloody cetra

oh, and


bbbbllleeech
posted by edgeways at 3:00 PM on June 4, 2007


Good luck getting kabaddi recognized as an Olympic sport now, pal.
posted by designbot at 3:01 PM on June 4, 2007


I actually think that this logo is a hoax and that they'll unveil the real one soon which'll seem amazing in comparison. OK, I don't really believe that, but it is a good marketing strategy...
posted by ob at 3:01 PM on June 4, 2007


What ever the new logo is, it should read:

'THE LONDON OLYMPICS. GET IN THE MOOD OR I'LL FUCKING GLASS YOU.'
posted by ob at 3:04 PM on June 4, 2007 [7 favorites]


[Marketing chief Chris Denny] said they were after something "that would capture the hearts and minds of everyone…"

How could a plan with a pitch like that ever go awry?
posted by designbot at 3:07 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like it. Call me what you will.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 3:16 PM on June 4, 2007


I cannot ever evaluate this logo fairly because I read the thread before clicking the link and now Lisa Simpson slobbin' knob is seared on my retinas.

I'm glad garish jaggies are back, though. Maybe skinny ties will be next.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:17 PM on June 4, 2007


Although that Lisa Simpson image is burned in my poor brain.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 3:17 PM on June 4, 2007


The Chicago one is so classy, if a bit safe.
posted by bonaldi at 3:31 PM on June 4, 2007


To put it in baseball terms, the reason for this logo being as terrible as it is is: if you swing for the fences, you usually strike out.
posted by you just lost the game at 3:35 PM on June 4, 2007


Why is everybody in the BBC article ascribing mystical qualities to the logo?

Tony Blair: "When people see the new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life." Seb Coe: It will "act as a reminder of our promise to use the Olympic spirit to inspire everyone and reach out to young people around the world." Jacques Rogge: It's an "indication of the dynamism, modernity and inclusiveness with which London 2012 will leave its Olympic mark."

"Dynamic", "modern" and "inclusive" are also words that could describe MySpace. That and "ugly".
posted by tepidmonkey at 3:54 PM on June 4, 2007


Oh my lord, once you see Lisa Simpson in there, you can't see the logo as anything else any more.
...and the goggles, as usual, they do nothing...
posted by klausness at 3:55 PM on June 4, 2007


Lisa does London
posted by zany pita at 4:19 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Chicago one is so classy, if a bit safe.

I like it too -- it's a shame it'll probably have to be changed.
posted by sellout at 4:19 PM on June 4, 2007


That is horrible.

I clicked the link expecting something sort of bad, but as soon as I saw the logo, I realized how inappropriately high my expectations had been. I involuntarily grimaced and cocked my head to one side, perhaps in hopes that viewed from a different angle, the logo would appear somewhat less hideous. Who designed that? A macaque with access to a Commodore 64 Koala Pad drawing tablet?
posted by serazin at 4:22 PM on June 4, 2007


I'm glad bonaldi linked to the Chicago logo. It's definitely a safe choice, but has great elegance and clear (if somewhat blunt) symbolism.

This is truly horrible. In fact, it's so bad that it will be remembered and reproduced in design classes for hundreds of years. A perfect example of what not to do.
posted by aladfar at 4:23 PM on June 4, 2007


The original is a bore and would preform poorly at small sizes.

The new one looks like it was made with a Tangram set. As for the cost, a lot goes into research, surveys, focus groups and building out the entire identity and usage. Landor charged $5 million for the FexEd identity system. There is more to the bill than just a logo.

Aside from that, as a graphic designer I think it sucks eggs.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:24 PM on June 4, 2007


The word brand is only mentioned 14 times in that BBC article. The spokespersons for the London Olympic Committee should try to sneak it in every other word, or maybe devise new versions, such as "The brandly implications of this logo cannot be underbranded."
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:38 PM on June 4, 2007 [5 favorites]


Fugly.
posted by Vindaloo at 4:56 PM on June 4, 2007


The video reminds me of a Trapper Keeper I had in 1988. And it made me feel that the 2012 Olympics will be somehow pointier than others? Mmm...pointy.
posted by chihiro at 5:13 PM on June 4, 2007


Blair's final revenge: Preschool Britannia.
posted by rob511 at 5:43 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


This was a little easier to figure out.
posted by samsara at 6:00 PM on June 4, 2007


Also, let's not forget the Beijing 2008 emblem is not universally admired. (Reminds me of Goldie Hawn in "Death Becomes Her.")
posted by rob511 at 6:04 PM on June 4, 2007


[rant]

To the chorus line of "I could do better"

No, you can't.

Unfortunately this is what happens when the design/advertising/creative process must go through the death gauntlet of committee(s), MBAs, internal politics, conflicting interests, egos, budgets, red tape, focus groups, "branding", demographics, and every other obstacle that gets thrown in the way.

You've heard of "Design By Committee"? Think of "Design By Olympic Committee" having it's own place in advertising hell. (See ACOG -- Atlanta games.)

Is the logo awful? (I certainly think so.) But I'm sure the design/review process to get there was much uglier -- and any of the "I could do better" ideas would have probably suffered a similar fate.

And beyond that, god forbid they try something risky or "not safe", only to have it be used as a "see, that kind of gamble never works" smackdown for every account executive that uses this as catch-all example of why their logo must instead be "bigger with a swoosh".

[/rant]
posted by jca at 6:11 PM on June 4, 2007


I would so love to have been way back in a corner of the room when someone struggled to explain the Lisa image to the Prime Minister!
posted by sammyo at 6:18 PM on June 4, 2007


Forgive me if someone posted this already but, is this (BBC airs some of the alternate logo entires) for real?

Brilliant.
posted by naoko at 6:20 PM on June 4, 2007


Sure, it's easy to carp. But, by god, almost no designer going — unless they're Sagmeisters or Schers — get to do anything exactly as they'd intended. Wolff Olins has accomplished good, even great, work before, but I can't imagine a more committee-adulterated process than the Olympic games. It must have been pluperfect hell, the full hell arriving immediately after launch.

In my own recent experience, a client that my team's been working with on an identity system told us last week that a board member's design student daughter suggested something we'd already presented (and that had been resoundingly rejected) weeks before. After informing them of this fact, we were then, after a pursed-lipped pause, huffily chastised for not being more stalwart in our opinions.

And as clients go, these are pretty good ones, okay?

Nonetheless, it is a shame. The work that the Atlanta shop Iconologic did for the Torino Winter Games was damn good. So, depending on a vast number of inscrutable factors, it is possible. Just not very likely.
posted by Haruspex at 6:22 PM on June 4, 2007


Entries, dammit. Not entires.
posted by naoko at 6:23 PM on June 4, 2007


I'm no graphic designer but ... holy crap that's awful.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:52 PM on June 4, 2007


I have this fear that if I say anything about the logo, I'll get slimed.
posted by Citizen Premier at 7:21 PM on June 4, 2007


seeing Lisa Simpson performing an untoward act in an olympic logo: terrible.

realizing that it looks more like MAGGIE SIMPSON: Aristocratacular!
posted by ericbop at 7:24 PM on June 4, 2007


So I was cutting a new logo out of construction paper when I happened to look down at the detritus collecting by my feet and... there it was!
posted by scheptech at 7:50 PM on June 4, 2007


Yep naoko, it's for real... More at this link
posted by anthill at 7:51 PM on June 4, 2007


$800,000 for a logo??? What the living fuck?
posted by calhound at 8:08 PM on June 4, 2007


I like it. I think it might be on the money. In 2012 we might be coming back to this thread to laugh at ourselves.

As for symbolism (aside from dear Lisa), it has elements of a fire or flame. Maybe its a fractured world come together for the Olympics. London has certainly gone through its share of turmoil. We're predicting Iraq may take decades to repair itself. It kind of speaks to the shit the world – led by U.S. – has put us in. But that summer, we'll come together and lay down our bitterness and "fight" in the most elegant form of human competition: sports. Who says solidarity has to be a smooth round object?

It's a boxer out of the 12th round battered and bruised yet victorious with a big wankin' smile on 'is face.
posted by paulinsanjuan at 9:01 PM on June 4, 2007


Count me in the 'like' column as well. It's certainly got energy, and is original and memorable.

BTW, I initially took it to be a stylized map of europe, with the "london" label in the correct spot. On further examination, it's also pretty suggestive of a world map.
posted by jeffj at 10:57 PM on June 4, 2007


There are some clever things to be seen within this logo. I don't entirely dislike it. I saw the right side though as a skier, which isn't exactly London 2012!

The video from the BBC is awesome. That first viewer-submission had me laugh so hard I choked. Kudos who ever pulled that one off :-))
posted by Goofyy at 12:30 AM on June 5, 2007


Oh, a self correction:
Kudos who ever pulled that one off open.

I quite liked the video in the OP.
posted by Goofyy at 12:33 AM on June 5, 2007


The evolution of Olympic logos...

I'm especially fond of 1960, with Romulus, Remus, the wolf, and the interlocking metal rings.

For anyone who was around and paying attention in 1976, did you think Montreal was flipping the bird to the world?
posted by pandaharma at 12:38 AM on June 5, 2007


This is what happens when you give someone a peerage and put them in charge of something because he can run the fastest.

He had to have something to do once he'd been rejected by the electorate.
posted by biffa at 2:24 AM on June 5, 2007


I like that 1920 Antwerp logo. But I was expecting a severed hand, spouting water.
posted by Goofyy at 4:07 AM on June 5, 2007


I actually don't think the logo is all that bad. It's jarring when you first look at it, sure. But I think the idea is to be 'fun' and 'whimsical'.

When Olympic logo design committees go all-out to be 'fun' and 'whimsical', we get things like Atlanta 1996's Izzy. Izzy was the "World's First Computer-Designed Mascot!" but for some strange reason didn't become quite a hit in spite of all the earnest marketing that went on in the name of mascot branding. Izzy sort of disappeared from sight halfway through the games, even.

I guess things could be worse. Salzburg's failed bid for the 2010 Winter Olympic games included a peek at their proposed mascot, Sno-Mo, a snowball Mozart. He looks like something I once won from the squirt gun game at the carnival.
posted by Spatch at 5:38 AM on June 5, 2007


Ah, I see I was excited enough to include the same link twice. Here's the Izzy page I'd meant to link to along with the awn.com article.

(Moral: Test your links on preview)
posted by Spatch at 5:40 AM on June 5, 2007


THE DESIGN STAGE
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:55 AM on June 5, 2007


If they had made it so that the Olympic rings were overlaid on it and knit and bound the fractures together it might have worked better maybe.
posted by amberglow at 7:45 AM on June 5, 2007


WaPo: Jeers and Loathing Over a New Logo
posted by amberglow at 7:47 AM on June 5, 2007


I actually had no idea that that fractured pieces were supposed to read 2 0 1 2.
posted by amberglow at 7:48 AM on June 5, 2007


...message boards condemned it as a "broken swastika". ..

they're right.
posted by amberglow at 7:51 AM on June 5, 2007


The logo is fine. It's the Olympic Games itself that should be put to rest.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:01 AM on June 5, 2007


posted by Haruspex But, by god, almost no designer going — unless they're Sagmeisters or Schers — get to do anything exactly as they'd intended.

Gotta disagree with you there, mate. One of the most important parts of the design process is presenting good work that the client won't want to have diluted in committee. The other part of the design process is telling clients when their ideas are are bad.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:04 AM on June 5, 2007


Here's what we're thinking about this issue at Coudal Partners.
posted by coudal at 9:43 AM on June 5, 2007


Maybe it's a bizarro reverse-marketing thingy like when they tried to change coke or start putting lard in mars bars - generate so much publicity with an awful logo and then unviel the real one - anyway, it's got them loads of attention so they must be pleased.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:23 AM on June 5, 2007


sorry that should read unvile lol
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:24 AM on June 5, 2007


How would you rate the London 2012 logo?

Gold
7.11%
Silver
7.83%
Bronze
14.97%
Wooden spoon
70.09%

16580 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


I wouldn't count on that.
posted by dreamsign at 10:29 AM on June 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


The other part of the design process is telling clients when their ideas are are bad.

Hard to do when you are dealing with a laundry list of clients/executives that you don't actually see/talk to/engage/etc. Again, we're talking about working within a large corporate/committee/disjointed structure, not telling a single client their business card letterhead ideas aren't going to work.
posted by jca at 10:31 AM on June 5, 2007


I agree that it's hard, but that's why you always present work to the clients and executives yourself.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:44 AM on June 5, 2007


The other part of the design process is telling clients when their ideas are are bad.

It's important for ad agencies to have a red flag list. When the flags are up, you fire your client, seriously. Some groups like AIGA have recommended firing at least one client a year just to keep the whiny, cheap bastards from distracting you from clients who actually understand the value of design and want to work with you.

Advice to the agency that shat this out, next time you walk into a meeting with the client's Marketing VP and you notice a copy of Eye on the coffee table, fire him right there. Its hard to work with a client who needs to be educated but therein lies the challenge of the business. To tussle with a client who thinks they know more than you is unbearable. Somewhere along the line the client veer off the direction, if the agency should have protected it's reputation and walked away.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:19 AM on June 5, 2007


That logo is one of the ugliest things I've ever seen in my life. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. What the hell were they thinking?

To paraphrase John Belushi: What a bowl of fuck!

I particularly enjoyed reader submission numbers one and three; voted for number one, because what he did there with spelling "London" with 2012 as the first three letters delighted my nerdy, artistic soul and helped ease the pain of that...that abortion they've vomited forth from the bowels of the "official" design team.
posted by perilous at 11:21 AM on June 5, 2007


"others would say that it represents the multicolored vomit sprayed across the capital's pavements at 3 a.m. on your average Sunday morning."
posted by edgeways at 11:54 AM on June 5, 2007


BREAKING NEWS: They've replaced the video in my first link... for hilarious and deadly reasons.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:07 PM on June 5, 2007


Another possible alternative.
posted by liquidindian at 12:52 AM on June 6, 2007


seizures?

...yesterday evening, they were forced to pull the promotional video for the new brand from the official website after complaints from a completely unexpected quarter - Britain's epileptics. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:47 AM on June 6, 2007


I don't understand what the fuss is about. It looks like they actually tried to create something. Measured criticism is fine, but there's a lot of outright hatred for this. Maybe it's just a case of people wanting to crush something that sticks out.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 11:22 PM on June 6, 2007


Conformity of opinion amongst the national daily papers ensures there is outright hatred and fuss that won't die. It's somewhere between funny and scary watching things like this happen.
posted by vbfg at 11:50 PM on June 6, 2007


Scary. That's populism for you.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 3:10 AM on June 7, 2007


Huh?

"It fails the Harding FPA machine test which is the machine the television industry uses to test images."

That's all fine and nice, but Harding is the quotee's own name, and Google doesn't know jack about no goddam "FPA machine test". Is this totally bogus?

(Data: google ["CFA machine test"] renders mostly copies of this press release, "["CFA machine test" -2012] renders one single hit, a blog referring to this story.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:40 AM on June 7, 2007


Daily Show just showed a little bit of the animation via CNN--it really is a sped-up version of MTV circa 1981--terrible.
posted by amberglow at 8:03 PM on June 7, 2007


I like it. Especially the color scheme of the logo with the bike riders.
posted by vronsky at 7:25 PM on June 8, 2007


More like... LOLympics. *snort*
posted by katillathehun at 8:30 PM on June 8, 2007


Does anyone else see a map? I sort of managed to find a North America and a South on the left, an Asia and an Africa on the right, and a wee diamond-shaped Europe. A map was the first thing I looked for, actually, after I got over how unappealing the logo is. Then again, I am sleep-deprived, so perhaps it really is only a stylized Lisa Simpson that I'm seeing.
posted by endermunkee at 4:49 AM on June 9, 2007


Google doesn't know jack about no goddam "FPA machine test"

The google-fu is weak with this one. Try http://www.hardingfpa.com.
posted by kcds at 7:00 AM on June 9, 2007


Does anyone else see a map?

Wait-- it's a map AND the numbers 2 0 1 2 all at once? ugh!
posted by amberglow at 9:02 AM on June 9, 2007


Thanks kcds.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:28 PM on June 9, 2007


Do you really prefer the old logo to the new one amberglow. Because the old logo looks like something I would have come up with in my 7th grade art class.
posted by vronsky at 12:33 PM on June 9, 2007


I did really like the old one...it had the Underground-esque typeface, and the Thames running thru it (a la Eastenders), and was still simple and clean and immediately recognizable and readable.

I think it was unexciting, but all corporate logos are bland--the Olympics logo is first and foremost a corporate logo and branding thing. It's meant to go at the bottom of ads and on products--it should be simple and clear foremost. Having to puzzle it out or think about it is not what logos do, or what they are for. They're not rebuses or puzzles.
posted by amberglow at 1:14 PM on June 9, 2007


Also, the word "LONDON" isn't even really visible in the new one, and that's the main thing that's new and different about this 2012 Olympics--it's in London and not Paris or NY or Seoul or Beijing or SLC or Montreal, etc. Otherwise there's no need for any new logos for each one at all unless you make the place prominent.
posted by amberglow at 1:18 PM on June 9, 2007


(i just would have put the 2 in front of the river thing in the old one, and probably used the exact Underground typeface)
posted by amberglow at 1:20 PM on June 9, 2007


look at the 2 of them side-by-side here
posted by amberglow at 1:21 PM on June 9, 2007


I guess you have to ask: What is it about 2012 that's new and different from all past Olympics? The answer is: It's in London. That should guide the design and branding.

Also, the rainbow rings have been a standard Olympic logo feature for ages and ages, and are known to the whole world, and the new design dumps them altogether. If i was the IOC or whoever, i'd reject the new logo just because of that alone. It's like not using the Nike swoosh, or Apple's bitten apple.
posted by amberglow at 1:28 PM on June 9, 2007


I'll have to respectfully disagree amberglow. I think the original logo is tres boring. But I will admit to having a soft spot for retro 80's fashion.
posted by vronsky at 7:29 PM on June 9, 2007


different strokes, vronsky. I'd add tho, that this is a future event, and not a VH1 "I Love the 80s" special. In 2012, the 00s will probably be the hot retro decade.

BagNewsNotes weighs in: ...I think a large part of the problem is that people are looking at it as a static element, whereas the intent of it is to actually float, fill and/or move. ...

To which i'd say we're far more likely to see it static than moving--on all the products that pay for using it.
posted by amberglow at 7:21 AM on June 10, 2007


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