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2012, if you squint a bit

There is a new logo for the 2012 Olympics. New branding. Multimedia. According to the shills who charged a packet o’ dough for it, the new brand “will work with new technology and across traditional and new media networks.” It will be ugly on all those media networks. Traditionally ugly on some, but on some, it will be new-media ugly, all edgy and, um, expensive.

Don’t miss the video. Actually, feel free to miss the video, because the video is of no interest whatsoever. It utterly fails to explain why the Brits have chosen a logo of truly Olympian uglinessossitude, or what the hell they were thinking, or what dosage they eventually settled on. It does, however ... er ... well, it answers the question did the people who came up with that awful logo have bad taste? On the other hand, even people with the terrible eye for color and design the video so proudly displayed should be able to take one quick look at the logo and give eight minutes on how badly it sucks, with three separate levels of analysis, and four minutes placing it in the context of the collapse of the western hegemony. I mean, if you took all the people who could watch that video and think there’s a well-made, attractive and powerful tool for getting Britons excited about the upcoming Games, and then out of that focus group of execrable taste, you then showed them the logo and let those who wanted to run screaming from the room to do so, your options would then be to (a) give the remaining viewers millions of dollars to run an advertising campaign or (2) beat the remaining viewers to death with their white canes. The latter seems more humane.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


It says it's multimedia, but I can't get it to play on my DVD player. In fact, my DVD player sprouted legs and ran screaming from the room when I tried.

The "brand animation" on the page you pointed to is appallingly awful, to the point that I wonder whether their goal is to intentionally create kitsch. They're aiming for the youth market; which of the following is most likely?

A. Teens will look at that video and say, "Oh, cool!" [Given that we here are probably all somewhat out of touch with the teen demographic, I consider this remotely plausible, but I hope not likely.]

B. Teens will look at that video and attempt to gouge out their own eyes. [This seems fairly likely to me, but I could be wrong.]

C. Teens will look at that video and take an ironic "so bad it's good" stance, elevating it to a pop-cultural icon. [I don't really believe this is what the ad creators had in mind, but it would be funny if it were.]

...The other video (if you follow the link from that first one) isn't bad; it's all about personal empowerment, and ordinary people pushing themselves to do physical stuff you wouldn't have thought they could do. It's not great, but not awful.

...I'm amused that on a page that says "These will be a Games where everyone is invited to join in," they've put up a video that doesn't work in Safari.... (At least not in my copy of Safari.)

Well, and my guess as to what happened was that some youthful-looking fellows (with an attractive young woman along) from the advertising agency presented the brand/video/logo to the Olympic Lords, who thought something like this: Terrible! It's total crap! What the hell is the matter with young people these days, that they like all this terrible, terrible crap. Is this what we fought the Kaiser for? Ah, well, different temps, different mores.

Now, whether the young fellows from the advertising agency were deeply cynical self-loathing alcoholic misanthropes yearning to be fired or whether they were in the Pay of Our Enemies, we can only speculate. Still, it's backfired on them, hasn't it, because they will have to look at this logo all over London for years.

It's a good thing the dollar's so weak.


Logos are different one to the other, and that's what makes the world interesting and fun.

Thank you, Michael, for returning this blog's readership to the civility and tolerance for which we are rightly famed. You'd almost think that there was a cultural stigma against graphic design that is not merely ill-conceived but nigh incomprehensible. I, for one, would have to think twice about posting here if I thought I were talking to a bunch of tasteists.

Can't we all just get along with our color-blind, layout-design-impaired marketing wonk brethren?


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