London Olympics

Well before London Olympics came to life with the eye gaping opening ceremony and strained faces of athletes there was plenty of talk about the graphics for the London Olympics beginning with the logo, then the sport symbols, and now the ‘Headline’ typeface that appears on every single free space of TV viewing – receiving social media comments like “Maybe it will grow on me, but I’m not a huge fan of the “London 2012″ look” and “I’ll admit the olympic font is truly terrible… But everything else had been great so far..”.

This has been the most remarkable Olympics for graphics, perhaps the first time in history that we’ve experienced such a strong dislike to it, while on the other hand we are all trying to find a space in our hearts to accept it – it demonstrates the importance of design in today’s culture and our relationship with it.

I’m in 2 minds about the design – on the positives: I do commend the attempt to break away from tradition (a huge leap forward from their 1948 logo!), it wears the expression ‘quirky’ well. The colours are vibrant and modern, the shapes are boxy yet dynamic. The typeface leans towards being awkward, tumbling, uncertain – italic or falling over? it teases us by suggesting it’s failed yet somehow it works! The logo is equally crazy and says so little about the olympics and more about a surreal rock formation, and I swear that 0 is in the shape of Australia! The negatives – how can we mention negatives? – I just love it when design, particularly graphic, challenges people’s expectations and has them talking and questioning the influence design can have – be that positive or negative.

Read what the designer was thinking when he designed the Headline typeface here.

Recent Olympic logos.

Bring on the organic forms of the Rio Olympics 2016 – those entangled rubber-men! – let the critics begin ;-)


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