June 6, 2007

London 2012 – “My kid could have done that”

Filed under: brand, sport, web — Warren Hutchinson @ 8:35 am


Day 2 and the viriol is still rolling concernig the new London 2012 identity and brand system.

I’ve seen coverage of the new Olympic London 2012 identity blazed across front pages, on the news and on the radio. Everyone is talking about it. So is this a bad thing? Is all PR ‘good’ PR?

I certainly think so.

It takes a while for the supporters to emerge and I’m starting to see supporting signs here, here and here signs that this identity will gain traction. I said yesterday that dissatisfaction and resentment always air more readily than satisfaction and support and this has been very apparent.

Comments include:

  • “Of all the cities that are “would-be” hosts of the Olympics, only London have the balls to pull something like that off, and they have.”
  • Like a lot of people, I didn’t like this when I first saw it; I thought about posting but I didn’t. But I kept thinking about it today, and the more I thought about it, the more it grew on me.
  • I love how it works as a system. I love that its brash and crazy and risk-taking and young. And maybe its those qualities – which are often just as much a part of the Olympics as good sportmanship and acheivement – that speaks to my own favorite Olympic “moments…” The Jamaican bobsled team (I was a kid and I loved them that year and cried when they crashed), the first time snowboarding came to the Olympics… And I do think as time goes on it will take on the other, time-honored qualities of The Olympic Spirit.

Of course there are a myriad of detractors, but John Snow (a very credible news reader here in the UK) has warned us though‘Be careful, it will grow on you’.

He’s right. Or at least for my experience of the brand he’s right.

I remember seeing it for the first time and thinking “Oh. Okay. Urmmm. Wow. That’s different”. But it has grown on me. Now I really like it. I’m sticking up for it. I’m sticking my head up and saying “I support it”.

Personally I’m a little takenaback by the lack of support from the design community who usually berate everything for playing to the status quo. This identity certainly doesn’t do that. SO I expect some more emerging and high-profile supporters soon.

My favorite comment concerns the perceived ease at which these things are created; “MY kid could have done that” has chimed out on radio programs, television news and in the papers.

Well, great.

If your “kid could have done that” then that means it’s simple. It’s uncomplicated.

And simplicity is one of the most complicated things to achieve in design particularly in a spac where the identity has to work on tickets, billboards, clothing, signage etc etc. Also, it has to work with various sponsors on the side of cups, in newspaper adverts and so on.

This site provides 10 reasons for loving the new Olympic identity and adds that if your “kid could have done that, then get them to send in their resume”. They go on to point out that some of the best brand lock-ups are simple such as the Christian Cross (two lines) and the Mercedes badger (three lines and a circle).

This prompted me to think about the comments that criticise the logo for not being literal enough. Comments such as:

  • “It doesn’t represent London”
  • “It doesn’t represent sport”
  • “It doesn’t contain red, white and blue”

I’d bet my house that if the logo was any combination of those things, a London landmark with some sporting gesture woven in, rendered in our national colours then we’d hear comments of “Try harder”, “Unoriginal”, “London is more unique than this” etc.

This brand system has to be reognisable at 10×10 pixels and at 100×100 ft. This is a brand system that provides a massive amount of scope for ‘play’. Expect to see bright coloured, angular forms across everything.

Love it or hate it. It will be plastered across London in various forms and I’m sure you will recognise it when you see it.


1 Comment »

  1. London Olympics 2012 logo design.

    Half a million quid. One year in the making…and this is it…

    Could it be any shitter if it tried?
    Sign the petition to have it changed!! There are over 3,300 4330 30,000 signatures in 30 hours!
    Update: Some BBC website users sent in their …

    Trackback by digitaltoast — June 6, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

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