If I opened a toy shop selling coloured hoops, could I arrange them in the Olympic symbol without the design police kicking my door in and creating a veritable kristallnacht of my display? I’ve seen some very funny creative ways of avoiding the problem, least of all the range of shirts and bags bearing the logo ‘They’re All On Steroids’. (Another that says ‘I’m renting my flat to a fat American family’ could at a stretch be accused of racism, even though every Hollywood villain in the last decade has been English).
But the 2012 logo we were all supposed to grow into and love – well, that didn’t work, did it? Instead of its ugly, awkward shape spinning to reveal a brilliant set of graphic solutions it just stayed there like an ugly shattered lump. Wolff Olins, the bunch of design-challenged twats who came up with this hopeless mess, is in my street in a very tasteful traditional Edwardian building, but this desire to have old-school bricks and mortar didn’t follow through to their branding solutions. Their team said they were predicting the future. Really?
Instead of a logo of timeless, graceful elegance we got some wedged-together offcuts from the old X Factor set, so much of their time that they already look hopelessly dated and naff. Because in the ever-fluxing world of London style the current taste is a new spin on, arm, Edwardian. Men are sporting beards, women are opting to cover up, interior design is about dark wood and matt steel, colours are muted and natural, so that last year’s taste for acid lemon and jellyfish pink has been consigned to the dump-bin.
The good news is that in just two weeks we’ll never have to look at the bloody thing again. And Wolff Olins can go back to predicting the future after it’s already been there, done that and bought the T-shirt.