The London 2012 Olympic Games have been hailed universally as a resounding success, from the wonderfully eccentric opening ceremony to the phenomenal achievements of our athletes and the resounding expression of British unity. But where does the once volatile subject of the Olympic logo fit within this story and in our minds?
Brands and logos are specifically designed to make an impact and drive an emotional response, and the London 2012 logo certainly provoked a powerful reaction in the lead up to the Games, albeit mostly negative. However, when Bradley Wiggins rang that enormous bell to announce the commencement of Danny Boyle’s colourful and quirky take on British culture, the logo did not appear so awkward and alien. In fact the London 2012 symbol with its vibrant colours and jagged edges seemed to fit well with this celebration of British peculiarities.
Throughout the Games the logo proved to be incredibly versatile in the way that it was applied in the various sporting contexts, which demonstrated its ability to become an actual brand.
Given that the motto for the Olympic Games was “Inspire a generation” it would appear that this logo was particularly apt. The design is easily identifiable as the number 2012 and bold in its originality, it is not just an artist’s abstract interpretation of Big Ben or Tower Bridge or a London bus.
Of course the logo could have been designed to be less obtrusive and more delicate. But as the London 2012 Olympic Games will undoubtedly be remembered as the time when the world took a peek at British eccentricities, it is perhaps befitting that the logo was just as peculiar and individual.
Looking back on those 17 days it is clear that the logo was dominant and effective, it did its job, and in the words of Lord Coe in the Olympics closing speech, '...we did it right'.