if you’re a graphic artist or you know one, you would have seen the London 2012 Olympic logo. if you haven’t, now is the time to take a look.
i’ve always been an advocate of function and legibility over form and design for the sake of design. i think my fundamental issue with this logo is that is smacks of two things, over hipness (design for the sake of design) and design by committee.
the over hipness factor is an attempt to ‘communicate and resonate with the youth’ which throws out design fundamentals like legibility and usability in favour of ‘cool.’ the logo lends itself to motion and animation and i suppose in this era of continuous internet and video access it does have some merit but i believe the hallmark of a good logo is to be immediately identifiable and communicate a message, specifically in a static, one colour environment. i’m also a type purist, not that i don’t appreciate modern fonts but again i believe in legible, easily readable fonts, properly kerned and leaded. the logo is is none of these things. it took me three viewings before i realised the shapes in the background formed a pattern and another number of viewings before i discerned 2012 from LO12.
design by committee has become the norm these days and sadly i believe it is destroying creativity. no one person want to go this looks like crap, start from the top. it’s a bunch of people sitting around in meetings with buzz words and market research and focus groups and before the it gets to people that actually matter, a ton of people have made comments and a good idea gets beaten into submission and more often than not mediocre ideas seems to rise to the top. i’ve worked on projects that get decided on by committee and there comes a point as a designer where you just throw up your hands and go whatever. sadly it seems that is always the thing that gets approved in those situations.