SBD/Issue 21/Olympics

Newest Iteration Of London 2012 Logo Sees Popularity Increase

The logo for the 2012 London Olympics, which received "uniformly negative" reactions upon its introduction, is "becoming increasingly visible across" the city on the sides of taxis, on the sleeves of sportswear and on letterheads, according to Ian Burrell of the London INDEPENDENT. On a new version of the logo, released August 24, the space in the middle of the outline "has been filled with the colours of the Union Flag ... to mark the transition of the Olympics" from China to the U.K., and "numerous such 'in-fills' will emerge in the next four years, featuring photographs, graphics and animation." LOCOG Commercial Dir Chris Townsend, who formerly served as BSkyB Marketing Dir, "believes he already detects a change in public opinion on the controversial design." Townsend said that the "reason the 2012 logo wasn't presented with a more imaginative infill at the launch was a concern over the need to fully protect the international copyright to the outline." Townsend: "One of the most critical elements was to design an emblem that we could protect. We needed to ensure the mark would be instantly recognisable as our mark and that it was a mark we could register and protect around the world. This mark has a significant job to do -- it’s got to generate revenue through sponsorship and has to generate revenue through merchandise." Burrell noted this is "why the committee didn't go for something more obvious, such as an outline of Tower Bridge, which could have presented considerable rights problems." Townsend said that the "concept of an evolving 2012 logo in multiple forms mirrors similar fluid strategies by such famous brands as Google and MTV." He attributes the "popularity of the logo among young people" to the "demand for 2012 clothing produced by the games's sportswear licencee, Adidas, one of seven 'Tier One' commercial partners" (London INDEPENDENT, 10/13).

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