Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | June 4, 2007

2012 Olympic Logo

medium-pink-white.pngSome of you will know that one of my interests and passions is corporate identity. Not only is brand management my day-job, I love seeing how different companies, products and services choose to represent themselves.  Logos and symbols hold a particular interest since the best of them are incredibly sophisticated pieces of communication, miniature artworks that are very powerful communicators.

Perhaps there is room here to blog on identity at some point in the future, particularly as it relates to churches. However, I could not let today pass without referring to the new London 2012 logo that was unveiled today at the Tate Modern.

My own view – what were they thinking! I see the 2012 bit but I am somewhat struggling to understand the rest. Perhaps there is more to unfold as the identity begins to ‘take shape’ – perhaps we will see a steady metamorphosis as we get nearer the event?

The description on the brand webpage says:

The new emblem is dynamic, modern and flexible. It will work with new technology and across traditional and new media networks.

It will become London 2012’s visual icon, instantly recognisable amongst all age groups, all around the world. It will establish the character and identity of the London 2012 Games and what the Games will symbolise nationally and internationally.

Unfortunately, most of this talks about basic functionality and aspiration. Frankly, if it didn’t work  ‘with new technology and across traditional and new media networks’ the designer should be unemployed! However, what I would have loved to have seen is more about the story the symbol is supposed to tell.

What do you think? Do you think it is yet to evolve into it’s final form?



  1. I perfectly agree it’s dreadful. And completely fails to get across the message. I didn’t even realised the symbols were 2012 until you pointed it out in this blog. Apparently it’s based on the TISWAS logo because kids will think this is ‘cool’. To me it looks like a logo designed by an adult who thinks they know what is cool for kids and really has no idea.

    The following link might be of interest

    Various design companies discuss the logo. It would appear that it is a devicisive issue.

  2. Hi Hugh!

    Great to see you back on line and writing awesome stuff! Hope you are well and look forward to reading more and more!


  3. that’s shockingly bad! It’s not distinctive enough to become instantly recognisable and it’s not clear enough to portray any message! I totally agree with you, what were they thinking?!

  4. Hmmmmm, I think we may be seeing the birth of a new generation of logo here that will primarily be aimed at electronic media and which will be much more fluid than what we are used to; all ready for the 2012 Olympics to be the event that sees the global arrival of TV over the internet as the primary platform.

    Or maybe it’s just rubbish!

  5. I checked out the link to the brand webpage and noted there the picture of the logo hanging as a flag at Townhall. It just doesn’t quite fit, does it?

  6. I can see a runner bent over at the blocks, muscles taut, mind focussed, ready for the gun to go and to spring into athletic speed, strength and fluid agility. But then I do have an overactive imagination. Can you get treatment for that?

  7. I agree the logo is very disappointing but before anyone goes pointing the finger at the designers, shouldn’t we look at what the design brief was they were working to?

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