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The Look of the games

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Overall (after two weeks of watching on TV from six time zones away), I'd say the look has grown on me.

The detail, hard to observe at first, makes it very distinct. And it has real versatility in terms of color - which allowed it to be colorful (like Athens/Beijing/LA/Barcelona, unlike Atlanta/Sydney) without being too loud (like Beijing). It does have some inconsistencies and mistakes in some venues, but overall I'd say it ranks with Athens at the top of the list.

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I have to say it has grown on me a bit too. Colors are great, font is playful, but I just wish there was a bit more to the design elements.

Anyway, it is distinct from the other hosts, and I think they probably accomplished what they were wanting to do. So hats off to them for trying.

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I think my opinion of the 2012 Look has increased through out the duration of these Games.

It's still somewhat dissapointing that this Look could've been used anywhere else because there really isn't anything "British" about it, but it has done its assigned job of capturing your attention - young people's attention - very, very well.The shards bring your eyes directly to the Olympic rings and the bright colors and sharp angles create backdrops that grab your attention when flicking through televison channels or going through news pictures.

It also accomplisehd something that past Look's haven't - it worked towards elevating the competition enviorment rather that just decorating it. My favorites Athens' and Vancouver's Look were full of artistry and told a story (and do a fantastic job of that), but they were really only acting as decorations. London's is dynamic and high-energy; it elevates things.

Case in point: a picture of a tennis player hitting a forehound at Wimbledon with the rings in the background among eminating bright shards looks so much more exciting than a picture of a tennis player hitting a forehand at OAKA with the rings in the background among abract representations of Greek vase patterns.

The goal of these Games have been to engage youth and the way this Look has worked to grab your attention and elevate the apperance of the competition have totally been in line with that. So in that regard I think it's been rather succesfull and a great step forward in an area of the Games that's always developing.

And just a couple of assorted comments:

  • There seemed to be less Look around than in Beijing (who went as far as decorating ethernet ports and toilets at the media center). I imagine cost-cutting is the reason but it didn't really take away from what I've said above.
  • Some venues looked better than others. The poorly lit Water Polo arena was the worst and the brighly lit Volleyball stadiums were the best.

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I agree with NY's great summary... I think overall it has grown on me and has been a wonderful and challenging norms episode of olympic branding.

The only thing I would like to add, is I think the look would have been further enhanced if they took their two tone venue concept a little further. One of the things I liked in Sydney, though it was one primary colour the second level and third level tiers of venue seating were decorated in a different colour Red, white, (a lighter blue and yellow). I think the whole dominant colour venue thing was great but I would have liked to see some slight variety within higher tiers. I think that is why the look worked so well in some venues i.e. archery and beach volleyball but didn't work that great in the olympic stadium, the football arenas and gymnastics venues.

I think if they were to use each venue's shard effect colour as the base colour on the second tier (with the shard effect on that in the primary venue colour it would have added a nice symmetry to the look and honoured colour wheel designer rules. What I mean is then that the purple and green of wimbeldon would be inverted to green base and purple shards on the second tier which would have tied the venue better IMO to the green grass courts.

Especially in venues with super tiers (i.e. wembely) I think this would have maximised the effect of the look but still be subtle enough in venues like the beach volleyball at horse guards parade to give them an overall dominant effect. The basketball venue is one example where the black was used as another alternate colour to great effect, producing the best looking IMHO, olympic basketball court i've seen to date.

Aside from this as athensfan and I have discussed elsewhere, I love olympic word marks, but in london, in some venues it was way overused with too many layers of word marking... I think they could have avoided that by using their tagline more on the second layer effect (light blue as in signature below)i.e. inspire a generation and games of the XXX olympiad, much in the same way sydney and atlanta (among others) did in their second layer - 'centennial olympic games' and 'Games of the new millennium'. The other unsure bit for me was the upscaling of the wordmark and olympic rings on every branding strip (making it fill virtual the whole vertical height in varying strip heights) instead of keeping the same word mark and ring scale in different layers.

Alternatively or collectively, I also think they could have used the two tone blue (or two tone purple or pink in the same way) as a more subtle way to break up and enhance the look aswell, as in my signature below:.

Easy to criticise when your not the designer, but still a very, very good look programme.

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I just was watching replays of the mens walk.... and there is a gold branding strip with purple shards at the pit stops with a purple branding fence overlay behind it.. The variation looks greaT! especially on the shard effect, is this happening elsewhere and I have missed it ??

I wish there was more of it...

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Hmmm, so much is left unsaid about the success of the monster look scheme. One can interpret it all in so many ways. The logo (the guide for the look) is perhaps the most famous-infamous games mark in Olympic history, the look is it's direct descendent. The look plan was larger and more ambitious than past looks. It was stunning in many ways and that's probably what made me want more.

I saw a lot of the look all over but not enough. Was it the simple lines without curves or arcs that may have made the look blend in too much to the angular architecture of venues and city? We all love those sharp angular shards and lines but these same shapes and ideas have been pervasive in popular design, art and architecture for decades, it is not a young idea and the design team(s) interpretations were perhaps too simple and spread to thin. I did not see enough strong large banner statements, a simple beautiful and moving part of games history (scary if the Nazi's started this type of grand branding). I saw many streets with only a couple widely place look ellents, this always seemed so strange and out of proportion to the importance of the mega-event in London. This is what I saw on NBC and BBC, so only on TV and on-line for me. Perhaps in London the brand felt more dense and exciting where it was most important. But I fear there were deep flaws, unrealized potential and possibly over management or strictness that kept things too generic.

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Perhaps in London the brand felt more dense and exciting where it was most important. But I fear there were deep flaws, unrealized potential and possibly over management or strictness that kept things too generic.

I agree.

Curves would certainly help set a look apart from urban angularity, but I still think that the hard lines can work. There just wasn't enough interest.

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Paralympics: Park changes look ahead of Games


Workers alter a sign on the Olympic Park

Just five days after the last Olympic athletes departed, the first Paralympians are arriving at the Athletes' Village on the Olympic Park in east London.

There are 16 days between the Olympic Games closing ceremony and the opening of the Paralympic Games and workers have been busy making changes to the park.

Banners and signage are being changed, buses are being converted and new volunteers are being trained as only a third of those who helped to run the Olympics are moving on to the Paralympics.

London 2012 architects Populous integrated Paralympic thinking into their plans from the start of the London 2012 project. The Athletes' Village and the stadia were all designed with the Olympics and Paralympics in mind.

The park was built with accessible toilets, ramps and wheelchair spaces in the main venues.

The Athletes' Village housed 11,000 competitors during the Olympics and its lower floors will be used by 4,200 Paralympians from 165 nations, with rooms fitted out beforehand to cater for wheelchair access for wheelchair-using athletes.

"All of the venues were designed to be inclusive and accessible, which has meant a minimal transition in the two weeks between the Olympic and Paralympic Games, other than the changes to fields of play," Chris Jopson, associate principal at London 2012 architects Populous, told the BBC.

Some changes have been made however - for example about 300 buses have been converted to allow space for five or six wheelchairs.

Venues have increased their wheelchair seating capacity. The Olympic Stadium will have 568 spaces compared to 394 during the Olympics.

Sixteen venues - including the BMX circuit, the Water Polo Arena, Horse Guards Parade, Lee Valley, Hadleigh Farm, Wembley and six football stadiums - will not be used during the Paralympics.

Others will host different sports. The Copper Box, which staged handball and some modern pentathlon events at the Olympics, will be the venue for goalball.

The seven-a-side football competition will be played on the distinctive pink and blue surface of the Riverbank Arena which hosted the Olympics hockey competition.

Populous are also building a 3,000 seat five-a-side football venue on the Olympic hockey warm-up pitch.

There are new venues too.

Brands Hatch in Kent will be used for road cycling events while a specialist tennis venue has been created inside the Olympic Park. Eton Manor has four indoor and six outdoor wheelchair tennis courts, all designed in a striking blue.

Mr Jopson said: "It's a different Games with a different brand, and there's a been a big programme to change the look of the Park."

Venues and 2,000 fleet vehicles have been decorated with the Paralympic Agitos - red, green and blue swoops representing the Paralympic motto "spirit in motion" - which will also replace the giant Olympic rings on Tower Bridge and in Trafalgar Square.

So the Paralympic Games will look different, but from the success of ticket sales they might feel very much the same as the Olympics.

Previously, Paralympians have performed in front of half-empty crowds. With 2.2 million out of 2.5 million Paralympics tickets having sold so far, that will not be the case next week.

The Paralympic Games run from 29 August to 9 September.


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I have finally found the London 2012 look book.

And more...

London 2012 Look book: (!)


London 2012 Publications look book:


Design strategy: London 2012


London 2012 Olympic emblem guidelines


London 2012 Retail guidelines (!)


London 2012 Brand introduction (!)


London 2012 Test events style guide (!)


London 2012 Festival Brand guidelines (!)


London 2012 Olympic pictogram guidelines (!)


London 2012 Brand expression guidelines (!)


Photographers handbook


Media handbook


Torchbearer handbook



Mediaguide handover Beijing 2008 (!)


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