The logo needs little introduction, love it or hate it, you certainly recognize it. London branding and graphic design system.

The overall look of the 2012 games has been directed by McCann Worldgroup in collaboration with London’s organizing committee. Over the past 3 years they’ve collaborated with several designers, architects, advertisers, sponsors and others to implement an impressive visual identity that will be seen across the world.

The logo design is 2012, an instantly recognizable symbol and a universal form one already closely associated with the games in London. Unconventionally bold, deliberately spirited and unexpectedly dissonant, echoing london’s qualities of a modern, edgy city.

Containing neither sporting images nor pictures of London landmarks, the intent that the logo expresses that the games are more than london, more than sport. The games are for everyone, regardless of age, culture and language. The London logo is designed to be populated, to contain infills and images, so it is recognizable enough for everyone to feel and be part of London 2012.

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2012 london olympics logo by wolff olins
image: LOCOG

London logo design by wolff olins

The logo needs little introduction, love it or hate it, you certainly recognize it. Designed by wolff olins in 2007 the logo aimed to attract the attention of a young audience and enthuse them about the games imminent arrival to the british capital.

Wolff olins worked with london’s organizing committee (LOCOG ) to define a clear ambition for london 2012. These Olympic games are for everyone. They would call on people to challenge themselves – to try new things, to go
further, to discover new abilities. the brand we created supports this ambition.

For the first time ever, the olympic and paralympic games will share the same brand, using their own variant of the emblem. and in another first, the cultural olympiad will be able to share the brand. with the addition of the commercial partners, this will be the most cohesive olympic brand in history. new technology is being put in place to get everyone closer to the action and more deeply involved

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2012 london olympics typeface by alias
image: alias


typeface by alias / gareth hague

The logo was already designed before alias became involved in the project, wolff olins had used our ‘klute’ typeface as its starting opine and because of this they thought it would be appropriate for us to design a typeface to accompany it.

The type was briefed and designed to work as a dramatic, powerful and characterful headline type, for use at large sizes, working within and supporting the logo’s pre-defined system of angles and shapes. the typeface does this by being linear and graphic rather than typographic, by capturing a spirit of simplicity, modernity and angular geometry.

visual identity system by futurebrand

As part of the mccann worldgroup, futurebrand’s role involved developing ‘the look’ of london 2012 and an developing an identity system that works across every touchpoint. from venues, signage, interior dressing, street dressing, ticket design, medal ribbons, the cars that would ferry athletes around; essentially every physical touch-point that spectators, sponsors, officials, the media and athletes would come into contact with during the course of london 2012, both in london and across the UK.

the core idea was to use the lines and shards ­that the logo emanates, creating a ‘burst of energy’.­

The core idea was to use the lines and shards ­that the logo emanates, creating a ‘burst of energy.­ Whether the entire field of play with the seating becoming a huge graphic, or simply surrounding the olympic rings with the burst, printed on a coral on the field of play. it all goes back to the idea of a festival of human endeavour, with athletes pushing beyond their personal best

The grid is used in a flexible and dynamic way, creating shards patterns and textures that radiate from a central focal point. the joy of this graphic device is that it can be adapted across lots of different spaces and places yet remain clearly recognizable and consistent. this means we can tell a single design story, from the seating bowl designs to the patterning on the concourse.

The ensuing look is provocative, unexpected, distinctive and bursting with life. it captures the youthful spirit of london and the energy of the games. this core look has evolved to create separate but related identities for each of main sub brands that are a vital part of the london 2012 experience such as – games makers, get set programme, torch relay and london 2012 festival. each has to remain true to the core spirit of the games but develop a distinct take on it.

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Rob-Barnett-Straydog-Branding-Vancouver-Managing-Director-Brand-StrategistArticle by Rob Barnett
Partner & Brand Strategist at Straydog