June 13, 2007

On Your Marks

I’ve been amused by much of the uproar over the recently-unveiled (or unmasked!) brand mark for the London Olympics. Whilst I always remind my own clients that their own choice of mark is likely to be informed by a mix of the objective (‘that’s a well-made and distinctive mark) and the subjective (‘I like it!’), I find it difficult to see a case being made for either position in the London 2012 offering.

The suggestion by the design team that the mark somehow stands for something and that we must wait to see it animated before we rush to judgement seems to me to be patronising at best. The people of London, in particular, as ‘client’ must be able to see some design merit in the mark in order to like it – otherwise, it is going to be difficult for them not to feel like the stark-naked emperor of the old story setting out on a marathon whilst the world watches on and waiting to hear the incredulous cry from one small boy in the crowds that line the route to the finish-line.

Confidence in a mark is everything. The last thing we need when presenting our credentials is to feel in anyway undermined by them. Given what we’ve seen so far, I can’t imagine that Londoners will be able to escape that sinking feeling regardless of how well other aspects of the Games are delivered or presented.

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