June 04, 2007

Well that didn't go well for 2012 then did it

Writing about web page http://www.technorati.com/posts/tag/2012%2Blogo?page=1

Oh dear.

Looks like the new design for the London 2012 Games has not gone down well at all.

Now, I guess there always is a tendency with these things for there to be an immediate ‘ooh – don’t like that’ reaction to new brands/logos. Consider the hoo-ha around the Birmingham University corporate branding.

I went and had a nose around the Wolf-Olins site – http://www.wolff-olins.com/ where there is a bit of a commentary about the work including some slides in the background of different implementations of the 2012 logo, including some where the logo is used as a cut-out over pictures, which to be fair works better than the logo on its own in its plain colour varieties. I can’t link to them but go and have a look – it’s in the client section of the very very annoying website.

So that leaves me wondering whether this is an issue with the logo, or an issue with the launch. Maybe some of the other examples should have made it into the presentation pack to give a clearer sense of the way in which the design can be interpreted.

But there is a fundamental issue in that statement. By creating a logo that allows for flexible interpretation the basic implementation says nothing at all – it’s bland and devoid of meaning. Meaning has to be imparted by its particular interpretation and that only comes with time (hence the evolution statement perhaps). This does not help the launch though and leaves a while lot of detail out of the mix – detail that might have saved what is surely turning into a significant PR disaster for the 2012 team.

I suspect that there is a raft of stuff yet to emerge about the branding and we may yet see some really innovative stuff that will make us go ‘Ahh – now I see what they meant…’ – but I am not going to hold my breath.

I do find the logo problematic in that it took me a long time to figure out it was ‘2012’ and the font sucks and the Lisa Simpson thing and the colours are poor and it makes no immediate connection with sport and it will date horribly and who decided the 80’s were where its at etc etc etc

It’s worrying that the team that was so tight and managed before the award of the games to London seems to have collapsed into chaos afterwards. I’ve tried to keep this reasonable balanced and give some benefit of doubt to the designer. There will be a lot of very negative coverage of this and I just feel that had the whole picture been made clear we might be in a different place right now.

Probably not though – gah!

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