Monday, June 11, 2007

Special Pleading Olympics

This is the logo for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Pretty bad isn’t it… Well, it cost £400,000. Anyway, there has been much bagging of it in the press in the UK, so the creators have defended it by pleading:

[The logo] designed for a different age... dynamic, modern and flexible - suitable for use online and on mobile phones by a generation at ease with new media.

No, it's crap:

Stephen Bayley, founder of the Design Museum, described it as feeble, a "puerile mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal"...

Although Wally Olins, who co-founded the company that designed it, thinks it's shocking:

What's interesting is that it's so new and because it is new it is startling. This only happens when people do something that is so totally different that it's shocking. I've been involved in this kind of thing on a number of occasions during the course of my career and almost always it occasions the same kind of reactions. People produce something entirely new that is very unexpected and the reaction is shock, horror.

No, it's just dull and unoriginal. Not new at all. If anything, it's conservative. Can't you just do that using "Word Art" in MS word?

The irony of their special pleading defence is the fact that the designers were apparently trying to include everyone with their logo; one shouldn't need "special insights" to "get it":

London's bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games was won on the strength of a presentation that promised London would inspire the youth of the world. Wolff Olins met the brief by producing something that in its words was "neither an appendage to London nor the Olympic symbol" but "a brand which can be read and understood by people of all ages, around the world". It was "unexpectedly bold, deliberately spirited and unexpectedly dissonant", echoing London's qualities as "a modern, diverse and vibrant city" while eschewing "sporting images and London landmarks" to mitigate the impression that the Olympics actually comprise a series of athletic events with luxuriously trained winners and losers and outbreaks of nationalism, held every four years at great expense in a different but real city. The emblem's form, therefore, "is inclusive ... for everyone, regardless of age, culture and language".

If you say so...