2012 London Olympics unveils its logo - and it's absolutely hideous

Is this a joke?

London Olympics new £500,000 logo unveiled - to widespread derision

4th June 2007
Daily Mail

The new logo for the 2012 London Olympics was unveiled today - to widespread derision.

Olympics chief Sebastian Coe hailed the £500,000 design as "the vision at the heart of our brand".

But within hours an online petition to have it ditched had gained nearly 5,000 signatures.

One signatory called it "puerile rubbish" while another said: "I love it — just kidding."

The logo for the London 2012 Olympics

The design is supposed to capture the spirit of the London games as well as help raise the £1 billion needed to stage the event. But the organising committee, Locog, was facing a PR disaster after the launch at the Camden Roundhouse.

One backer of the petition to dump the logo said: "Surely the logo is a representation of the SS icon." And another said: "Any art teacher worth his crayons would have turned it down."

The PR disaster is the first serious setback to hit Lord Coe since he took over as chairman of the Olympic Organising Committee. It was made worse by organisers insisting on strict secrecy surrounding the logo - raising hopes that it would be a brilliant piece of design.

How the logos of other Olympics compare with London 2012's

The designers have broken with recent Olympic tradition by choosing a look, centred on the figures 2012, which is intended to be edgy. The logo, the centrepiece of a rebranding exercise, will flash up in a variety of colours on websites and mobile phones and, according to the brand consultancy firm behind it, has been designed with the "Google generation" in mind.

The company was briefed to produce a look to last for five years, even if that meant upsetting conservative tastes.

Unveiling the design, Lord Coe said it was consistent with London's pledge to make the 2012 Games credible to youth.

He said: "London 2012 will be everyone's Games. This is the vision at the very heart of our brand. It will define the venues we build and the Games we hold, and act as a reminder of our promise to use the Olympic spirit to inspire everyone and reach out to young people around the world. It is an invitation to take part and be involved."

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "The new Olympic brand draws on what London has become, the world’s most forward-looking and international city."

Olympics chiefs briefed the design agency Wolff Olins to deliver on the dual themes of "inspiration and participation".

The logo, in magenta, pink, orange and green, is intended to form the colour scheme as part of the wider rebranding exercise. Some critics likened the design to the Fuzzy Felt children's toy.

It will be seen on Games venues and its outline will be used in the layout of warm-up tracks in the Olympic Park. It will feature on sports equipment and will provide a backdrop to broadcast coverage.

According to the designers: "Its shape will be constant. Its style will give flexibility, inspiration and energy across every application. It is a powerful brand taking its place in a brand-savvy world. This includes a palette of colours, lines and shapes that create energy, inspiration and interest - and ensure our brand always stays fresh."

There was a positive response from former Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards, who said: "It's funky and edgy and perhaps a bit graffiti like.

"It's not a staid corporate logo like some in previous games. As soon as you do something different it’s bound to arouse a response."

Denise Lewis, the former Olympic gold medallist, said: "It looks cool and funky and says a lot about London. The kids loved it but for some it's too bold. I guess it's a generation thing."

Chris Townsend, the commercial director of Locog said: "The idea of using the year as the logo came from the design agency. It's intended to make a big statement out of 2012 so that it lodges in people's minds like other dates such as 1066 and 1966."

However Bob Blackman, London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow said: "Lord Coe has described this logo as 'ambitious, interactive and youth-friendly'. I would describe them as hideous.

"Questions need to be answered as to how we have ended up in this situation. Was there an open competition to supply the designs? If so, what on earth do the rejected ones look like!"

That logo is horrible. The design, not to mention the colour-scheme, do not look good at all. I hope they do change the logo.
Oh God, that is one hideous logo. The look and design of it is horrible and the colour just doesn't belong in it. I agree with Shiv, I hope they change that logo soon.
See? See what happens when you take art out of the schools?