If you've done an ounce of research on the London 2012 Olympics, you have probably come across several conversations or debates about the official logo. Designed by the team at Wolff Olins, the logo brings us back to some familiar 80's styles like neon colors and "zubaz" patterns. As is the case with everything on earth, some will love it and some will hate it - and most will be indifferent... but I want to take a look at some of the other options circulating the Internet and figure out why the International Olympic Committee really made the best choice.
First, let's start with the selected logo - the gold medal:
There is a sense of urban graffiti and the hectic undertone of big-city life in London (similar to New York City). It stands out well on a busy background with the light/dark combination overlay. It's also strong by itself, even as a solid color on a white or black background. Take a look at the designer's website to see some of the versatile uses of this logo and you'll understand why the IOC fell in love with it!
Here is my choice for the silver medal:
Awesome use of the traditional Olympic rings - a natural fit, in this case, as the tagline implies: "We've got the Olympics in us!" However, the font reminds me of Century Gothic, which has been overused recently with the insurgence of Web 2.0 designs, and will probably be outdated in four years (or much less). It might also struggle to stand out amidst the chaos of the Olympic games.
And the bronze goes to:
The only reason this gets the bronze is because it seems to be the most popular alternate choice out there... but it's not true enough to the host city (are they the London games or the "Zoizdon" games?). The font resembles that used in the Beijing 2008 Olympics, and misses the mark in the "standout" category, as well.
There are some outdated elements of each of these logos, although they both have interesting fonts and a nice use of the Olympic rings on second version (right). It's clear that the judges were not fans of negative space or these may have received a bit more consideration - although I'm happy they didn't.
So there you have it - all of the logos are well done and I have a lot of respect for the designers of each, but the winner shows us a true understanding of application and audience. I look forward to more designs from the individual nations, and of course, to the games themselves.