When this launched I was on holiday. But, these days you can access the world media anywhere. Email on the move, internet on the train, news on the go, the Daily Mail in the hotel lobby.
I didn't blog about it at the time and I kind of thought my views would change with the hindsight that a few weeks gives you. I don't think my opinion has changed, nor has that of anyone else. I was actually invited to the launch event and lined up as a media commentator, but I couldn't make it due to the holiday pictured above. Given what I'm about to say, I think I'd have been on the TV all week.
I like the logo.
As Bono said, "there's been a lot of talk, maybe, maybe too much talk". He was talking about a song, I'm talking about a logo. For my money the best commentary on the whole thing was written by Mark over at the CR Blog.
So let's recap a little. David, really, really hates it. Claire Beale hates it. Beeker's receptionist is worried, Michael Johnson is crossing his fingers and Coudal Partners like what it isn't. Armin likes it and Bowbrick loves it. The Government isn't for turning and Wolff Olins don't ask to be liked. Which is just as well really. There's been a lot of talk about what could have been with, really, the only elegant suggestion being Daniel Eatock's. Although I doubt very much they'd let you do that with the rings.
In the Dead Tree Press the Daily Mail suggested it might grow on you with that special Daily Mail cynicism, the Tory Olympic spokesman called it "hideous" and asked "what do the rejected ones looks like?". Stephen Bailey (yes you read that right, Stephen Bailey) called it a "puerille mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal".
Before we continue I think that everyone agrees the 'london'' type is horrible. It is.
Mark's article is called, "Well, at least it doesn't have Big Ben on it". That's a valid point. How many 'British' 'Cool Britannia' 'London' logos have we seen in the Blair Years that have relied upon hackneyed, dated imagery of Big Ben, the Union Jack or Tower Bridge? Likewise how much Gill Sans has been expended in trying to recapture Beck's brilliance? To the rest of the world (and I mean the rest of all the world not just Europe and America) London and the United Kingdom do not mean Tower Bridge and Big Ben. Get over it.
Happily the logo also doesn't feature any jumping, ambiguous androgynous eunuchs like these terrible, lame things do. How the hell these 'bent hairpin designs' convey Olympic spirit is beyond me.
But it's not just the amateurs who are having a try, here's Tyler Brulé on BBC Breakfast slagging off the logo.
And here he is displaying (on very weak looking A4 foam core boards) some ideas his team had "knocked up" the night before. They were shocking as well.
Which brings me on to a wider point. Whether you like the logo or not the way our industry has responded to this has been dreadful. Using terms like "knocking up" on BBC air time don't help designers win more boardroom time. Not liking the logo is one thing, but comments like "£400k? My kid could have done better..." do every working designer a disservice. We all know that it's not a case of emailing Seb an eps and an invoice for £400k. We all know it's a poisoned chalice of a brief, we all know that £400,000 will include miles of implementation and we all know that the ad agencies and the management consultants are charging twice that.
A friend of mine used to work for a large accountancy practice in the north of England. He used to audit the books of several Premiership clubs and he reckoned that almost all football transfers were worth about a third of what the press had claimed the fee was. I've always thought it was the same for branding agency fees.
I haven't seen (and I may have missed it) anyone begin to defend the industry and it's processes. Next time you're working with a client who demands his money back after months of hard work, or disputes your already small fees - you've only got yourselves to blame, I'm afraid.
History is not a helpful reference point either.
Sure, the Munich one is gorgeous and so is the Mexico one, but that was 1972 and '19 something I can't quite read'. The thing that worries me is that left to most of the London based, Guardian reading, ironic tshirt wearing design community we would have ended up with another, yes another, HelveticaMunichWankFest, lauded by the design press and irrelevant to everyone else. Meaningless, stylistic rubbish. Graphic design at its worst.
I think it's important to remember, but not essential, that logo is aimed at a younger audience. Generally, the younger you get the less you hate it. For the purpose of this post I asked my 16 year old niece what she thought of it, "Err, it's OK. Not that bothered, really. Why? Did you do it?".
So, I'm pleased that we don't have any Helvetica. Pleased that we don't have any
Tower Bridges or any Big Bens. Pleased that Gill Sans hasn't been used again and pleased that some people don't like it.
What we have is the bravest Olympic logo in decades. A logo with an undeniable energy and an anti-establishment feeling that would be refreshing for any brand but is like an intravenous 10,000 volts for an Olympic logo.
Last, but not least, take a look at Terence Conran talking about the opening of the Royal Festival Hall in 1951. Another big public design project, another huge amount of money and another set of shocking headlines. I bet most of the people who hate the logo would enjoy a glass of wine on the balcony of the RFH.
OK, OK, that's a building and not a logo, but the point is that these huge design projects will always get negative press.
So there you go, I like it. Special thanks to all the people who have written in asking what I thought of the logo, I was strangely touched by all of that.