I’m Not With The Brand

Media, Observatory

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.

6 comments on “I’m Not With The Brand”

  1. Ford says:

    I’m not sure that you can just do your own Olympic display. There was a butcher in Weymouth who got into trouble for creating the Olympic rings in …. sausages!!

    As to the logo; I’m sure we’re all familiar with the Armstrong & Miller Sportsfest Logo sketch – http://youtu.be/6R-t707wAfk

  2. Ford says:

    As an addendum to my previous comment; search, Google Ravelympics!

  3. keith page says:

    An additional visual disaster is the weird cyclops-style figure which appeared all over London in various guises and colours.I must admit, though, I quite liked the ‘Pearly King’ version in Spitalfields.The Olympic volunteers nearby were all very pleasant and appeared to be doing a good job, but I really don’t like the pink and purple uniforms.

  4. FabienneT says:

    There’s some great stuff at Tenderproduct in Cecil Court… They’ve called it “Stratford Sports Day” and the medals are cool! http://www.garudiostudiage.com/news/stratford_sports_day.htm

  5. Helen Martin says:

    Coming up to the 2010 winter Olympics here there was a tremendous amount of criticism and naysaying, particularly to the rahrah types who over enthused. During the Olympics anyone who had made arrangements to leave town must have gnashed their teeth because we had a two week party that was unbelievable. We all went downtown and walked the streets with people of half the nations of the earth, all wearing their colours. I noted at one point that it was almost impossible to walk downtown without a sappy grin on your face. I’ve never experienced anything like it – better than the Expo we had in 86, even – but I hope yours turns out to be as much fun as ours was. Other than hockey I don’t have any interest in winter sports, so it wasn’t that.

  6. Helen Martin says:

    Just followed Fabienne’s link and that is a wonderful site – with perfect medals. They could perhaps add a polevault event (over temporary fences) – and we could come up with some others?

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