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London 2012 Games Design Disasters

Posted: June 6th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Graphic Design | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Well the London Olympic games may still be a few years away, but there’s plenty of controversy to keep everyone entertained in the meantime. Recently the British Olympic committee unveiled the new logo design to immediate, countrywide disdain. The logo cost £400,000 (~ US$800,000) and it’s amazing to see what you get for that money – I’m sure it paid for a lot of focus groups & surveys.

2012 Olympic Logo (Pink)

So now the BBC is asking people to send in their version of a logo – most of which are, frankly, awful – but some of which show promise and are more in keeping with common London design styles (translation: lots of Gill Sans). What amazes me is that, as a country, we didn’t take this change to have an open public competition to create a logo and vote for it. Think of the money you could raise for the Olympic fund running a premium text message vote for ‘Britain’s Next Top Logo’? Unknown British designers could submit their designs and win a top prize plus a place on the design team. It would have been perfect, but old school ‘money for the boys’ thinking reigned supreme – no wonder the Olympic budget keeps getting increased.

Now there’s another uproar; the presentation video developed, I can only assume for even more money, includes a section of flashing lights that has triggered epileptic fits in susceptible people. So our beloved Ken, the Mayor of London, has waded into the fray and demanded that the company responsible not be paid for this “catastrophic mistake”. My feeling on this is that it is a more honest mistake, and I’m sure that plenty of government people reviewed the video first so is it really the fault of the company developing it? Britain has pretty strict rules about limited sighted people being supported on websites, but I’ve never heard of anything regarding epilepsy.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I’m sure we’ll hear of more ‘mistakes’ such as these. I can only hope that as a country we don’t mess up by spending so much energy complaining about mistakes that we don’t have any left to make the games the success they should be.

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