Olympic Logo Controversy- What went wrong in 2012?
Olympics is a well-known global brand. With the dates of Olympic 2020 out, every participating nation is excited and enthusiastic about the about the upcoming event to be held in Tokyo, Japan. According to the Olympic legacy, the hosting nation gets to design the logo for the grand event, which means that the logo changes every time. The logo for Olympics 2020 is now out and it is the talk of the town. It has received a lot of positive response in terms of creativity and meaningfulness.
Designer Masaaki Hiromura spent two years creating 50 retro-style sport pictograms that reference the icons used in the first Tokyo Olympics in 1964. (If you haven’t seen it already, do it ASAP). Naturally, everyone is comparing it with the previous logos of Olympic. No talk of Olympic Logos goes without remembering the infamous London Olympics logo of 2012.
Described as one of the most epic branding blunders, London Olympic Logo of 2012 was a treat for conspiracy theorists. Design firm Wolff Olins overlooked the need of careful research while designing the logo. While their intention was purely to design a logo reading ‘2012’ in a very unusual design, the logo resembled many more things that had no connection with the games. This got many questioning the intentions and integrity of the organisers. Many discussions and talks took place over the logo. One such talk was done by John Kane, Northeastern University’s art and design lecturer.
The logo was criticised for spelling the word ‘Zion’. Zion means the hill of Jerusalem on which the city of David was built. Onlookers thought that, the logo was a crude way of representing a religion. If this was not enough, the logo had a second conspiracy theory. Many criticised it for being an obscene pictogram of Lisa and Brat Simpsons busy in an illicit activity.
All in all, it comes down to the perspective through which you look at things.