Labs: ideas and musings
BRAND OR BLAND?15/04/2011
London 2012 logo, bad logo?
When the London 2012 Olympic logo was unveiled it was proceeded by a barrage of insults and complaints, both by the media and the so called design experts. I however have come to like this quirky and unusual looking logo and I think it works well.
Every other Olympic logo has been forgotten in my mind because they followed the same pattern - The six rings with the text below.
It stands out in the crowd
It might look obtrusively bright and showy but it will stand out next to Coca Cola, Nike and the million other brands that it will appear alongside.
The designer had a great opportunity to produce a brand without thinking of legacy, since the London Olympics will be here and gone tomorrow. Most brands fall into the trap of trying to be 'timeless' and end up becoming bland. A classic example of this is the use of the futuristic swoosh in the early nineties. Every media company had the obligatory swoosh around their logo. Lazy designers just went along with the bandwagon and produced logos that no one will remember.
The basic task of a brand is to distinguish
'this is us, not anybody else; this is owned by us, not anybody else; this is manufactured by us, not anybody else'. Per Mollerup
A good corporate logo should help distinguish one organization from another and visually reflect the activities and values of that company. Logos do not have to mean anything , there effectiveness as an identity is in how they reflect the character of the company.
In 2006 Mastercard introduced their new identity stating 'The three circles of the new corporate logo... reflect the company's unique, three-tiered business model as a franchisor'. The reality however, is that most people will never come to this interpretation when they view the brand. Some logos need no explanation because they are so literal but if a logo is abstract in form, it shouldn't have to be explained. The Swiss Re symbol is purely abstract but is both memorable and distinctive.