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Olympic hoo-hah

Posted by: Helen Walters on June 5, 2007


London’s logo for the 2012 Olympic Games has just been unveiled and it’s, well, a bit odd (also check out the official brand video. It’s all causing quite a rumpus, by all accounts. [UPDATE: The original link I included has now been changed to a more generic brand video, after fears that the first video might trigger epileptic fits in viewers. Other sources in London have been describing the logo as Lisa Simpson performing an act I’m not going to mention here. Nearly every major British media outlet has been running coverage on the ongoing furore. One thing to be said: it’s certainly getting people to think about branding and logo design.]

Designed by Wolff Olins, it’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill ‘reach for the stars’ running man type of logo, nor even ‘we’re all winners together’. It’s more punk than that, which is a bit unexpected, but not necessarily such a bad call. I quite like the wonky man myself. It’s certainly bright and eye-catching. But can it last the distance for the next five years?

Reader Comments

David Armano

June 5, 2007 10:45 PM


I just finished a write up on L+E over this. Let's take aesthetics out of this for a moment (for the record, I think it looks terrible).

What does this tell us about London, the spirit of the Olympics or even the year? Could you read the "2012"? I never even saw it until someone pointed it out.

So, yes—I guess it's odd. Kind of retro in a bad 80's sort of way. (you say punk, I say Punky Brewster) ;)

But what was the problem the designer was solving for?

Was the issue that London isn't perceived as "dynamic, modern and flexible". That's how the logo is explained on the official site.

Or was the real problem how to successfully communicate the spirit of London + The Olympics and tell a "visual short story"

To me it's the latter—and I think the visual identity , though unexpected is way off.


June 6, 2007 1:00 AM

Well that is the ugliest thing in the world. That logo is more fit for the 1970's, it should have been left behind.


June 6, 2007 2:52 AM

This thing looks absolutely attrocious !
I wonder how much the design studio was paid for this rubbish. It should be scrapped immediately.

Wonky Guy

June 6, 2007 7:12 AM

Odd and wonky is right. It's certainly bright and eye catching. Reminds me of event logos in the US back in the late '80s when such combinations of bright colors and punk styling were the "in" thing. Unfortunately, such styling tends to last only a year or two...

kimberley Woelich

June 6, 2007 9:19 AM

I think a crazy arty farty person bullied everyone else to like this design! And then lots of out of touch - higher ups, said this was a good design cause they have not idea of real logos and graphics.

Or an 8 years got some stickers for he/she birthday and put them together and everyone had a strange vision to use that as a Olympics logo!

Either way, as ex-Londoner, I think it looks stupid! and the sad part is everyone in the world is going to laugh at London's logo!


June 6, 2007 10:16 AM

I never knew I was epileptic untill I saw this logo...especially the pink gives me creeps!!! time to see the doctor I guess!!

bradley crouch

June 6, 2007 1:10 PM

As a professional designer I am embarrassed. That logo cost almost 800,000 US and it just plain sucks. It represents nothing of the Olympics, London or the year 2012. It looks like a bad 70's "new wave" not punk (note the magenta) TV show logo. The Olympics should remain current, but should bring along and set the pace for world grace, style and art. This falls well short. I'd hate to see the ones they threw out!


June 6, 2007 3:49 PM

It does seem to look a little better when you look at it for a very long time.


June 6, 2007 5:03 PM

Arizona, United States. I was looking at this logo with co-workers. We thought we were looking at tectonic plates and London’s locations 3.5 million years ago. Then we read the article. This is not the way to go it instills nothing and represents nothing. As for the $800,000, I am glad to see the elementary school this came from will get a new building or two.

Raman Singh

June 11, 2007 4:00 PM

Logo is something, that draws the attention to the event. the thing about being futuristic is alright, but let us not get carried away and make something abstract, which does not mean anything.

in my personal opinion it should have been something to do with 'The sprit of sports & Competition' having something on HUMAN Energy (being green)

well, it sucks


February 29, 2008 7:55 AM

very bad logo design

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