Chris, a London-based marketing wonk (his term) by day, rails against the logo for the London 2012 Olympic Games, unveiled yesterday, calling it "an abomination." He's hardly alone; almost as soon as the design was announced, a petition urging the Olympic Committee to "scrap and change this ridiculous logo" began circulating on the Web.
Chris weighs in:
The design is also incredibly busy, unlike the simple, smooth designs online. The irregular double edging on the shapes jumps all over the place for no reason, leaving slivers of yellow (or white) which will look utter shit when shrunk down to a low resolution. The numbers themselves, spelling out 2012 (or ZOiZ) are not at all immediately obvious - which is why everyone thinks it looks like Lisa Simpson giving head, or a man vomiting with his right arm raised. ...
Even the detailing is terrible; the font spelling out the word “london” is like some bastard offspring of Comic Sans, unlike the soothing and graceful sans serif fonts that are often used today. The Olympic rings sit awkwardly within the “O”, their neat regularity totally clashing with the shape surrounding them. In order to conform to the colour scheme, the five colours the rings are normally depicted in (symbolising the five continents of the world) all have to be totally disregarded in favour of uniform white. So much for embracing and symbolising diversity.
In short, this was a logo designed with print in mind with little clue as to how it will appeal to an Internet generation. It confuses garish with interesting, and smacks of a deeply insecure yearning to be relevant and appealing to youth, despite being about twenty years out of date. It totally disregards Olympic history or actual diversity in favour of an incredibly narrow-minded preconceptions.
Look on the bright side: it should be easy to use the logo in a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle.
(For links to previous Games' logos; go here.)
Update: Kottke.org points to this defense of the logo in Speak Up, a group-authored graphic-design blog. "Part of the problem is that the logo comes with too much hyperbole, rhetoric, metaphors and inflationist meanings," writes Mexico-born, Brooklyn-based designer Armin Vit. And yet: "Whether you like it or hate it, the work is extremely unique and memorable. More so than any of the last Olympic Games [pop up] and I would even go as far as comparing it with the 1968 Mexico Olympic program in terms of a radical approach."
Update #2: Coudal Partners, a very sharp ad agency in Chicago, also likes the chosen logo: "Just like you, our first reaction was shock. But we talked about it all morning. By 3pm, we decided we love it. And here are ten reasons why you should, too." (Via Logic + Emotion.)