London 2012 creators 'defiant'

The London 2012 Olympic logo is “going to be useful in your life” and will be something that is “going to change your relation with sport, art and culture.”

Issued yesterday, the prediction from Wolff Olins, the creative consultant behind ‘2012’, marks the first time the much-criticised logo has received a full defence.

The graffiti-like design does not belong to a single culture, nor was it intended to be “pretty”, but it should make “you sit up a bit and take a breath,” the creative agency said.

Speaking to The Observer, the firm’s chairman explained he had the reaction to the £400,000 design that the 20-man team of creative designers were hoping for.

“They showed me and I said, ‘Oh my God,” Brian Boylan told the Sunday paper, adding at the time that “this could be really, really interesting.”

The design and development of the logo reportedly took less than two days after Patrick Cox, creative director at Wolff Olins, hit on the idea on a Saturday night out

Boylan, who was presented with the logo on the following Monday morning, said he saw it as having a “sparkiness, a sort of dissonance [and a] slight uncomfortableness.”

But he conceded the public outcry to the logo had not been anticipated.

“The reaction was understandable because it didn’t match people’s expectations of what they were looking for,” said the chair of Wolff Olins, which designed the Athens 2004 logo.

He added: “In pure design terms, it is quite radical. What surprised us was the intensity of it.”

Cox said he too had been overwhelmed by the public’s reaction: “What did surprise me was seeing photographers when I was taking my kids to school. That’s a strange thing to happen for somebody working in the communications industry.”

Wolff Olins was briefed to think about the Olympics afresh and come up with a logo that could be suitably used on a range of media worldwide.

To this end, Cox reflected: “We’re very proud of the work. We’ve answered the brief terribly well and we’ve produced something that is unique in the world.”


18th June 2007

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