The shockingly new London 2012 logo. Oh dear.


Oh dear, oh dear.Not to jump on the band wagon and pan a fellow design company, but Wolf Olins have really got it wrong this time around. (Or at least the third time around for the fine purveyors of the BA tailfin fiasco and the off-brand Abbey dibacle). For a brand logo to work it has to follow a few simple rules, before you move on to the subject of strategy. And when it comes to this execution it really does feel like the £300 000 budget was split £299 999 strategy and £1 design.

In my sincerest humble opinion, a few rules may apply to a branding project of this size and stature:

Brand design, rule number one
Make sure that if you are designing for a large audience, you engage that audience. This can be achieved in a couple of ways but not for example by suddenly announcing: “Oh by the way, here is our new logo. And we’ll be damned if we’ll change it for you, you snivelling non-(puke)design-savvy cretinous public.” It seems like within 24 hours of launching the logo, the misinformed powers that be, have completely alienated the entire city. Well done, that certainly is a skill worth paying half a mil for.

Brand design, rule number two
Make it pleasing to look at. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But hear this, people react to their subconsious way before they stop to give a piece of design any thought whatsover. If your mark is not aesthetically pleasing, what is the point? You certainly are not appealing to peoples emotions, so how can you expect to win hearts over?

A couple of rules off the top of my head for you there. I could carry on, but I think the creators of the new london 2012 logo have plenty of critical write-ups to choose from. Happy reading fellas…

Oh dear, oh dear.(Image shown to the right – the original successful branding from smaller, and perhaps not so strategic, Juno Design)



13 Responses to The shockingly new London 2012 logo. Oh dear.

  1. Jennifer says:

    Dire… absolutely dire. My first reaction was ‘good lord, have I been beamed back to the ’80s?’. As a designer turned account director, I found the logotype very disturbing. Surely there must be some concept behind this, given it’s coming out of Wolf Olins. I did some digging and found the promotional video on the London 2012 website… it was surprisingly inspiring (given the logo’s initial impression) and gave some sense to the 2012 logo. Unfortunately, tho, the promo can’t tag alongside the logo everywhere it goes, like a sidecar. How sad… are we stuck with it?

  2. Glad to see my impressions are the same as some else that knows what they are about. The earlier logo is so much better and builds upon the very successful Olympic branding. The dog’s dinner does nothing for anyone, well except the numpties who were paid loads of money to produce it.

  3. Mike says:

    Yeah man, I was absolutely horrified when I saw that logo design on news last night…
    and then they said “comes in a variety of colours” bwahaha what a joke…

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  5. JDavid says:

    Very interesting post – insightful to hear the perspective an informed commenter on the matter. This blog has got a couple of harshly critical, but really quite funny modifications of the logo in its comments … would you include as a third rule, considering how easily a logo can be parodied?! It’s hard, for example, to imagine parodying the original – mind you, since the original isn’t rubbish, it’s also hard to see why anyone would want to …

  6. Shitsandwich. What a name! Thanks for the comments all, I see that there is an uprising on the horizon. Maybe we should all protest by stirring our tea in the opposite direction – that’ll have them.

  7. minxlj says:

    I agree – engaging the audience on a project of this size is critical. The project was poorly executed even BEFORE the whole thing about the motion graphics causing people epileptic seizures. THAT was a truly terrible error, one that they really should have thought about beforehand.

    My review of the 2012 logo is here: http://minxlj.tumblr.com/post/2921361

  8. Maurizio Vinci says:

    I think the only strategy is to show that the design doesn’t count at all and in the opposite way people are gonna speak about that even if there is no design. This new logo has impact is recognizable and memorable. Watzlawick was right: “It is NOT possible not to communicate”. Very successful agency!!! By the way, I would have done better with only 200 Pound.

  9. Matt Revell says:

    Graffiti’s been around for years, now it’s the kids chance to say how it is. this logo has vitality and a city feel. people want a mark and don’t fall for grace anymore. Although i guess it does look like a crashed audi at first.
    they have taken the easy exit but i havn’t seen a better try anywhere.

  10. Eamon says:

    the logo is bizarre

  11. Tobi Laniyan says:

    Well I think everyone can get a design wrong along the line but it even took me a while to understand what it was!

    I went to a lecture where Michael Wolff when asked about the Logo said he doesn’t totally agree with the design but he agrees with its message. I think that they could have made it more engaging to the public and not seem to everyone like a “I can do that logo” and for them to say “O where not going to change it” even when there were Facebook groups, people getting epileptic seizures, talks! etc

    I really hope that they change it along the lines of that it is suppose to be a people’s logo and we should have a logo that were proud of!

    Not everyone, clients or audiences will always like your design so just like
    Paul Lavoie (Taxi) said “If you don’t get enough NOs in your life then you should be worried”

  12. James says:

    you fools.

    What a load of tripe. This logo is fantastic, groundbreaking and perhaps a turning point for identities on a global scale. The Juno Design logo you referenced is weak, safe and boring in comparison. It’s just like every other logo for the olympics, at least wolff olins have created a distinctive icon for the games. They have created something much bigger. This identity has both energy & excitement, much more than that done before ribbon logo could ever hope to have.

    The design world ridiculed this logo at first, any applications I have seen of this logo recently have blown me away, they are strong, iconic & memorable.

  13. Each to their own James, thanks for the comment.

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