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The Look of the games


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I think the most important thing is that London has found its own, distinctive style. Their look isn't like previous looks - the shards are very much in line with the logo, so it will immediately yell "That was London 2012" to you when you'll see pictures of the Games in a few years' time. So you won't have to guess, "Which Games had that look again?".

OK, it's maybe not the most breathtaking look, but I find it very neat and unobtrusive. After all my fears when they presented the logo in that video with all the garish colours and wild patterns, I'm pleasantly surprised that they chose such warm colours and pleasant patterns.

I also like that energetic look the Olympic rings and the London 2012 logotype get when they are surrounded by those (as in the velodrome's case) blue shards against that orange background. It's very much in line with the youthful image London 2012 wants to convey.

And as I said before: I absolutely love the noble and warm look the Olympic Stadium gets on those Sega pictures with all that purple - at least at nighttime or when the sun doesn't shine on those purple panels. With bright sun on it, it can look a bit garish or Barbie-like -- at least judging by those pictures. But of course I'll wait to see it in real life before I give a final judgment. ;)

In the end, it seems to be a good look, maybe it will even turn out as a very good look in real life. Yes, Athens' look was far more colourful and varied, and Vancouver's look was far more artful (but also far more busy). Munich's look was more overwhelming in its colourful simplicity, and Torino's look was much more overflowing with energy. But that doesn't mean that London's look is boring or uninventive.

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It is boring and unimaginative. More generic than any other Games. I disagree with your comment about photographs years after the fact. Sydney, Athens, Beijing are all recognizable. This is just going to be colors with intersecting lines. Doesn't really say London at all where as the aforementioned Games all represented their host nations -- ocean/aboriginal art/swirls for Sydney, Greek ornament for Athens and Chinese scrollwork/clouds for Bejing. And now lines. Not creative or imaginative at all.

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I guarantee you: Those "boom!" shards around the Olympic Rings and the logotype will be a trademark for the London Games and thus be instantly recognisable at least by us Olympic aficionados even years later. Unless every future Olympic host wants to copy those shards, but I highly doubt that.

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As far as the link to London goes, DarJoLe mentioned a couple of months back that the Look was inspired by an Art Movement based in London called Vorticism. 2012 will be roughly the centenery of this movement. I'm not an art expert but I've been doing some Googling and the link is quite obvious, and its attitude to design is entirely appropriate as well. It is nice to know that there is a link to British design, even though it's by no means necessary in my opinion.

http://www.tate.org.uk/collections/glossary/definition.jsp?entryId=312

http://creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2011/june/blastbless-blog-and-tweetup

http://jvhdesign.blogspot.com/2011/04/london-2012.html

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What I meant is that nothing about shards says "London" whereas the others communicate the identity of the host graphically.

Indeed. And that's why London won the bid in 2005, because for the first time its core message to the IOC was not one of 'come to London, we'll give you a London themed Olympics', it was 'bring the Olympics to London, and we will send a message to the youth of the world that the Olympics is a force for good, something to strive forward for, and to inspire them to take up sport no matter where they are in the world.

London has hosted the Olympics twice before. It didn't need to a third- but it did, because it wanted to project a strong message that wasn't based on geographics or what is so great about London. It wanted to harness the energy of the Games to inspire change amongst the youth of the world.

The lines represent the coming of people to London, which intersect and cross over, making the date - 2012. The emblem pulsates with energy from those people (the white of yellow 'buzz' as it is called around the emblem) and explodes with energy created by the gridlines (the shards). All the lines and shard shapes from the brand seen so far come from the grid that makes up the emblem signifying the energy inspiring youth around the world. The vibrant colour palette, the fast paced, eye catching vivid colour are all there to catch the attention of youth in an ever fast paced, hectic attention grabbing world.

There's nothing London about it. It's a more powerful message than London. A more powerful message than previous hosts, and I doubt such a powerful message will ever come out of an OCOG again in our lifetimes. Which is why the 2012 emblem is so important as a marker in time of this event.

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Indeed. And that's why London won the bid in 2005, because for the first time its core message to the IOC was not one of 'come to London, we'll give you a London themed Olympics', it was 'bring the Olympics to London, and we will send a message to the youth of the world that the Olympics is a force for good, something to strive forward for, and to inspire them to take up sport no matter where they are in the world.

London has hosted the Olympics twice before. It didn't need to a third- but it did, because it wanted to project a strong message that wasn't based on geographics or what is so great about London. It wanted to harness the energy of the Games to inspire change amongst the youth of the world.

London DID NEED AN OLYMPICS. Courtesy of having a third-time Olympics, Ken Livingston, mayor at time of bidding, was able to regenerate the East End courtesy of the UK Taxpayer under the guise of an Olympic games. Ken Livingston even says this -- the sport wasn't his priority, regenerating London was.

All this "It wanted to harness the energy of the Games to inspire change amongst the youth of the world" was just the message the London 2012 bid team used to convince the IOC to award them the games.That came later.....

The lines represent the coming of people to London, which intersect and cross over, making the date - 2012. The emblem pulsates with energy from those people (the white of yellow 'buzz' as it is called around the emblem) and explodes with energy created by the gridlines (the shards). All the lines and shard shapes from the brand seen so far come from the grid that makes up the emblem signifying the energy inspiring youth around the world. The vibrant colour palette, the fast paced, eye catching vivid colour are all there to catch the attention of youth in an ever fast paced, hectic attention grabbing world.

And most polls have sown people are not a fan of the branding so it could be viewed as a failure. Further, London 2012 hasn't actually lived up to its promises -- sports participation has not increased and a recent government think tank acknowledges the sporting legacy will actually be difficult to achieve.

There's nothing London about it. It's a more powerful message than London. A more powerful message than previous hosts, and I doubt such a powerful message will ever come out of an OCOG again in our lifetimes. Which is why the 2012 emblem is so important as a marker in time of this event.

I disagree. Kinetic/energetic shapes, whilst being funky and vibrant and aesthetically interesting are not " A more powerful message than previous hosts".That's an opinion not a fact as your wrods imply it is. Athens 2004, with its Laurel wreath logo and colour palettereferencing Greece and ancient Olympia had more power than London's branding in my opinion. Darjole, I always feel that in your need to defend London and rebuke people and their valid views of London, you resort to crude hyperbole.

I've put some comments in red.

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I miss Darjole's posts. He loves the branding as much as some people hate it. Its always good to have different views on here

Yes, but not when subjective views are passed off as absolute authority at the expense of anyone having a contrarian view that London 2012 and its brand is anything less than perfect and sublime.

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I think I understand what DarJoLe's getting at, and I can imagine how the brand could be used in that way (especially in conjunction with an opening ceremony segment perhaps), but the brand of course needs to get that message across without the three paragraphs of explanation that he's provided above! That's the challenge for LOCOG.

Since the logo launch the brand has taken its time getting going. With the 1YTG celebrations in Trafalgar Sq, I think the branding came together and started looking pretty good and much more coherant. The Games themselves will determine whether the brand lives up to the lofty ambitions outlined in DarJoLe's post or whether it remains simply a solid and recognisable decoration for these Games.

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OMG did you say Broken Olympics, that is too much, but now I hear a large thick pane of glass bust apart when I think London........perhaps we can say the look is inspired by the "Shard"!

Yes. Saying the brand represents a 'broken Olympics' as Athensfan said I believe is very crass.

I think London's brand is the most all-encompassing: the logo relates to the pictorgrams which relate to general look which have been incorporated into the architecture etc.There's a consistency in the design which makes the brand distinct although it may not be pretty depending on your view. I also think the potential to use the brand in ceremonies is huge -- animated shapes etc. No other brand did this or was capable of it in mu opinion.

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DarJoLe, that's quite a contorted justification of forgettable mediocrity. They can be the world's Games without being bland and generic. There's nothing wrong with a nod to the host nation either. Traveling around the world is part of the appeal of the Games. Rio will sure go for hardcore Brazilian Games.

British shame over imperialism has left the country uncertain of how to present themselves. It's easier and more comfortable to be generically global. The lack of design concept is evidence of a lack of a clear concept of modern-day Britain.

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DarJoLe, that's quite a contorted justification of forgettable mediocrity. They can be the world's Games without being bland and generic. There's nothing wrong with a nod to the host nation either. Traveling around the world is part of the appeal of the Games. Rio will sure go for hardcore Brazilian Games.

British shame over imperialism has left the country uncertain of how to present themselves. It's easier and more comfortable to be generically global. The lack of design concept is evidence of a lack of a clear concept of modern-day Britain.

You claim DaJoLe's explanation is contorted then come up with this nonsense to justify your own personal opinion on these graphics? Wow. :lol:

You don't like the fact these graphics are fairly unnationalistic, fair enough, but that was design choice not anything to do with your crude analysis of our national phyche. The venues are going to be draped with British flags by fans, these graphics will be adorned around venues like Wlmbledon and Lords and in the middle of Whitehall for the beach volleyball. There will be no doubt this is a Games in the UK, the Look doesn't have to hammer home that point like a brick around the head. And plenty of artists, composers, sculputres shun nationalistic or representative ideas in favour of more abstract notions; it doesn't mean they're unimaginative or uncreative.

We get you don't like this direction, and that's fine, it's your opinion. But really you don't need to come at us with your notions of our Impreialist Shame to justifiy yourself, it just looks very silly when all we're talking about are Games-time graphics.

Also, another point.....The context of these Games is also pertinant and easy to miss for someone who doesn't live here. Just as these Games are starting we will have just had one of the biggest national celebrations in decades with the Diamond Jubilee. You won't be able to move around London for overtly British symbolism and Union Flags in May and June. When the Union Flags come down, the Olympic bunting will go up and it's deliberately different. Our national celebration will be in the early summer (and no doubt with global media and your nation's curiousity about our Royal Family you'll catch some of it), after that it's a deliberately more global celebration. The fact is we can do both pomp-and-circumstance like no other country on Earth and then slip seemlessly into a modern, global celebration. And we will this Summer, one right after the other.

Edited by RobH
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We know who we are, the world already knows who we are. We just need to make our global image more contemporary, I think these games will do that.

Like Rob says the Jubillee will be a celebration of Briton, full of pagentry and street parties , the Olympics will be a celebration for the world of human achievement in one of the worlds greatest cities

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Traveling around the world is part of the appeal of the Games. Rio will sure go for hardcore Brazilian Games.

And that's Rio's prerogrative. London wants to do things a bit different. There is no 'rule' stating a Games-look must be tied into the culture of the country it is being hosted in. London wants to communicate to the youth of the world, it does that with a universal graphic language that doesn't overtly involve national symbols. Nothing wrong with that.

British shame over imperialism has left the country uncertain of how to present themselves. It's easier and more comfortable to be generically global. The lack of design concept is evidence of a lack of a clear concept of modern-day Britain.

Oh in fact completely the opposite. If anything London 2012 is presenting the UK in a completely different light to the grey, fog filled bowler hatted Queen-come-for-tea country much of the world thinks it still is. Vibrant, youthful, multicultural. Modern day Britain is fast paced, colourful, disonant, brash, but full of opportunity. Why should the Olympic look be any different? What were you expecting? Big Ben and bulldogs?

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I lived in the UK for years and I stand by my assessment of the collective national psyche. It's fine to disagree if you like. That doesn't make the design memorable or creative.

And no tea, crumpets and bulldogs were not the only options for a graphic identity. I love British design. The nation has a flair for it. That's why I'm shocked that the Olympic look is so non-descript.

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For years I thought as a nation we didnt have an identity. Last year at the Royal Wedding I was proved wrong, soooo completely wrong. Anyone that was part of that couldn't help be swept up in what we are all about.

Hopefully your view will change this year, its certainly not true of us as a nation today. We certainly have our problems, but we do have a national identity, its tradition and rotyalty and weather and tea all the stereotypes, but its also vibrant and young and quirky just like DarJoLe said.

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For the record, I'm a total Anglophile and would live in London if it weren't for those pesky immigration laws. I think the country has a wonderful, distinct identity, but I also think it's more apparent to foreigners than the natives. In the early 2000's there definitely seemed to be a "lostness" and quiet sense of historical shame.

I would say that currently the US is having a far worse identity crisis than the UK.

As for the wedding, it was not only beautiful, but substantive and inspiring.

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