Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Why London's 2012 Olympics logo is the worst in the history of the modern Games

It’s three years since the logo for London’s 2012 Summer Olympics was unveiled by brand specialists Wolff Olins. I thought it was rubbish then – even more so now that it is beginning to appear commercially.
I’m no Mr Outrage. I’m not easily riled by such things. But I am a Londoner and I want our Games to impress the world and we're off to a 'false start'.
It’s much too late to do anything about it but it is clear the design company – and UK Olympic officials who gave the logo the green light – made a fundamental error in treating the Games as a brand that could be infinitely exploited.
The logo most closely resembles a broken swastika in the way that the year is the predominate theme. But 2012 is the least interesting aspect of the Games – it happens every four years. The Olympic rings are a constant. What changes is the location – yet the logo dismisses our capital city as almost an afterthought.
This is how the Wolff Olins website sees it.
“The emblem is 2012, an instantly recognizable symbol and a universal form – one already closely associated with the Games in London. It is unconventionally bold, deliberately spirited and unexpectedly dissonant, echoing London’s qualities of a modern, edgy city. Containing neither sporting images nor pictures of London landmarks, the emblem shows that the Games are more than London, more than sport. It is for everyone, regardless of age, culture and language. It is designed to be populated, to contain infills and images, so it is recognisable enough for everyone to feel and be part of London 2012.”
Complete tosh, of course. The reason why the logo is intended to be so flexible – for example there is no standard colour – is because it allows companies to incorporate it into their sponsorship advertising.
London’s presence is dismissed as an irritating necessity warranting a mere lower case mention.
If the design really cost £400,000 as has been suggested it was money wasted. The 2012 London Olympics logo is the worst ever in the history of the modern Games.


  1. Your contention GC that the logo most closely resembles a broken swastika is interesting because many years ago a friend of mine pointed out to me that the original National Westminster Bank logo was in fact a swastika geometrically reconfigured.

  2. It's nothing common with swastika, it is - Liza's Simpson blowjob :)


What do you think? GC