June 21, 2007 in Web Design News

Olympic Logo Design

The controversial new logo for the 2012 London Olympic Games has been released costing a massive £450,000, as this is my domain I feel I must critique the firms design choices and the governments ridiculous spending.


You may have noticed that the image above is not the original logo – simply the ingredients of 5 minutes of spare time; Adobe Illustrator, a pen tool, and a can of beer. The simple reason that I can knock up a rough design that looks similar in about 2 minutes really has to raise questions as to how a logo can cost £450,000.

I admit I am jealous of the design firms fortune, but the government are the ones that have really missed out, I could have made this logo, updated all the governments websites and written endless blog posts on how great Tony Blair / Gordon Brown are, and possibly even convinced the world that Iraq was a just cause – I could even live off that £450,000 wage for 10 years.

Design Discussion time with Ant!

Ok, it is obvious that the logo represents something unique and it does make you wonder that the London Olympics will bring something different to the world stage – maybe all contenders will compete handcuffed and blindfolded, maybe the designers started this craze and that’s how they created such a unique design, maybe it’s a target audience type of design and they have realized they should exclude all audiences.

I’m being a bit harsh, sorry. The logo to me says extreme sports, rock climbing in particular – is that even in the Olympics? I don’t know. High contrast is good if you want to make an impact and clarity of the message also helps. I believe this logo says solidity and youthfulness, even street! But I am afraid to me it doesn’t shout Olympics. What are your thoughts?

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Anthony Brewitt is Design Bit, has been for years - he's an experienced WordPress Designer, and Muggle-born Marketing Philosopher. Let’s talk about your website; your marketing, blog design, and that cool new mobile web thingy. Contact Anthony

26 Responses to Olympic Logo Design

  1. Anthony

    @ Mike, We agreed ages ago it could have been so much better and that any capable logo designer could have done a better job!

    @ The ever mysterious Troy Meadows, Great diagnosis and a good point about the branding from Lord Coe.

    I have often wondered if the jagged shapes resemble broken buildings and maybe that this logo is a metaphor for “finally we have something we can do with the bloody millennium dome”.

  2. You already know I hate it. They could have spent that money elsewhere.

    I saw some logo’s so kids entered into the compo, they were much better.

  3. Professor Meadows

    Hello Anthony.

    Professor Troy Meadows here – just a quick thanks for our highly enjoyable confab on the evening of the 19th regarding the new Tokyo coding system; very invigorating indeed. I particularly found comfort in your postulations on the ‘tracker 9 device’ – thoughts echoing those long-held by myself.

    A quick mention on the logo front….Well I guess modern art, if you wish to call it that, is something that can be reproduced by the layman and to that extent, it can become relatable.

    Indeed its linear, disjointed composite, is one reproducible at every level of the technological strata – regardless of ability.

    The jagged emblem, based on the date 2012, comes in a series of shades of pink, blue, green and orange and will evolve in the run-up to the Games.

    The word London and the Olympic rings are included in the first two digits of the new logo.

    That said, this logo – as with the excessive time and money forked out by David Cameron spraying over his party’s historic torch with a squiggle – certainly cannot justify its hefty price and time tag.

    Yet as Lord Coe has noted, “it’s not a logo, it’s a brand” – so perhaps we are reading too much into this.

    Anyway Anthony, as we spoke about the other day the Carpenter Project is now underway and I look forward to working closely with you on it.

    Till then..


    Professor Meadows

  4. Anthony

    I will try and find time to produce one – but I am pretty sure the logo will stay now!

  5. Hi Another great site that is promoting a redesign of the London 2012 logo is better2012logo.com I have submitted a few designs myself

  6. “when people see the new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life”

  7. Anthony

    @Tony Blair, positively life changing for the design team maybe.

    @Steve Douglas, Brilliant!

  8. This Olympics logo was supposed to unite people together. On that level, it succeeded – everyone hates it!

  9. zakir

    yeah that logo sure doesnt look it costed them 450000

  10. I could design a better logo than that… (Well nearly)

    450,000 for that!

    That money could of been spent elsewhere for sure.

  11. I think everybody talks about this logo .
    In my opinion this is kind of strange. For me is just great.
    Think about it , Picasso get the same reviews for his works but later all became cubists. This logo is unique and has the perfect colors.

    The point ,
    this logo design is just amazing reflects the designer point of view and this must be respected.

  12. James Davidson

    This has to be the funniest take on the logo – http://www.capitalspunk.com!!!!

  13. Anthony

    A logo should not represent a designers point of view – but the company or brand itself and for me this is where this logo fails!

  14. i think this logo get a bad time of it it is a bit sore on the eyes but with better use of colour it could of been great £250,000 for is a bit steep

  15. The logo design isn’t great IMHO (I mean, i couldn’t even see what it said first of all), but like “logo design” mentioned above, everyone is talking about the logo and therefore talking about the 2012 Olympics.

    So really the design company set out what they wanted to acheive. But I can not see how they managed to charge the government nearly half a million for something which could of been done for much, much, much less.

  16. Lets not forget the 2012 olympic logo generated a lot of publicity, even if the comments are negative is did the job of rasining the profile of the 2012 olympics in London. Personally I dont like the current logo.

  17. A logo should not represent a designers point of view – but the company or brand itself and for me this is where this logo fails,

    I disagree with you and we can argue forever Olympic games is not a company and can pe represented in any way possible
    even with the regular 5 circles , audi might be upset 🙂 but this is another discussion about audi originality.

    Anyways, i was talking about the designer vision not the power of the brand. Google for me is bad logo but is a successful brand. For me is a matter of being open minded or not. Anyways this discussion will not change the logo and at the end this blizzard about the 2012 logo will be over and noone will give a shit. As i remember (i hope i’m right) “The Sun” newspaper talked about it in the first place. Everyone reads them for the art critics . right ?

  18. Olympics 2012 logo represent the unity of globe by sports.Its for the sports culture.

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  20. That London Olympic logo which the organisers/officials are defending and say we’ll have to get used to and cost hundreds of thousands of pounds is only being defended because it cost so much, in my opinion.
    If it had only cost 5 grand, they would have seen how bad it is and not felt stupid to face up to it and say ‘lets move on with a new design’, but to admit to wasting that kind of money on something rubbish would rightly make them look beyond stupid.
    Maybe just slightly more dumb than defending it.
    They could let the public submit ideas for ten pounds each and get a much better logo, and their money back into the bargain.
    Show up the company that did such a nasty job.

  21. A price tag of £450,000 is all what the logo has and ofcourse a really poor design, but it is Olympics logo no doubt that the price tag has got to be heavy!!!

  22. s anil kumar

    A logo should not represent a designers point of view and a price of £450,000 for logo too much.

  23. Gdfsg

    i would die inted of buy that logo for 45,000!!!

  24. Anonymous

    As you said, you can knock up a similar design in the space of 2 minutes, which, working at that rate, means you can earn £13,500,000 in a 12-hour day. I’d take that job in a heartbeat if it meant THAT was all I had to do to earn myself a small fortune.

  25. Georgiewebster

    Whats up with that 2nd ‘2′ of 2012? I think the logo is a bit of a mess, when I first saw it I thought it was just shapes with the bottom half looking like the letter R.
    I think the designer probably did spend a while doing it like the guy says and it turned out that way from endless tweaking of what was a pretty bad idea.
    The possibility of it being designed to be rearranged to spell zion is interesting as the yellow background shadows do not fall in the same way on the shapes as they are… however if each number (or letter) is cut out and rotated so that the yellow shadow falls the same way zion does appear. Im not surprised conspiracy theorists are going nuts about it. Very wierd and if true brings up a lot of questions.

  26. lennox

    the olymipic logo is a very special thing to us because so many people participate in thisbut the company prettty hates it but i think its good its like a sign of trust and how to participate in this lots of people like though and it shows how the olymipics is really good it also shows that olymipcs is special the persone who started all of this is baron pierre de coubertin in greece in the south west in 776 bc inspired the mordern olymipics its was a sign of honour the most important thing in the olymipic games is not to win but to take part and try our best

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