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I have chosen the topic of Olympics because of how controversial it is from the branding to the ticketing system, in addition it is current news and that it is relevant to myself as I live on the outskirts of London. I particularly found the design for the Olympics to be interesting from the logo to the mascots to the recently released posters. The research method I used was to use the library to gather information about design styles and design principles (such colours, layouts and branding). I read books about the history of the Olympics and the different sport events within it. Then I used the internet to search for relevant articles related to the Olympics and to get a wider perspective of views on the latest event. Also the internet connects users from across the world therefore there would be a larger range of content and that I could view past Olympic designs – some websites gave me the option of interactivity and made researching more enjoyable.
I found that the series of Ambrose and Harris’ books to be useful because it gave information of design principles and theories. The book “Olympic Image” was relatively interesting too because it featured colour photos of each countries Olympic style which help me understand the different countries design style and how it compares to London 2012.
With research, it has impacted on my thinking of the London 2012 logo where that now I don’t have a strong dislike for the logo because I now understand that the design has a reason for the simplistic style and appreciate it through research about minimalism (as my personal taste opposite to minimalism). In addition, the logo is good in the sense that it is flexible where the fill can have anything inside e.g. a pattern or a texture. I think the methods I have used to be successful but initially I found that finding information about the design aspect of the Olympics to be difficult as I had used the library first and they did not have any content on the Olympics specifically. But the method using the internet was successful because I found a lot of relevant and useful content about the design aspect of the Olympics. Some material I had found was not really relevant to my topic such as with some of the branding books I read was too niche towards business branding businesses rather than an international events and the history of Olympics weren’t particularly helpful because I wanted to know mainly about the current 2012 Olympics rather than how it was originated.
The geometric form and solid colour fills caused controversy that it resembled children’s work due to the simplistic appearance. The abstract style resembles paper cut-outs (similar style to Henri Matisse, Blue Nude II) and can be criticised that it is illegible. The corners of the individual figures are angular; the designer appears to want to portray the London Olympics to be edgy and futuristic.
Pink is a “warm, exciting, fun” colour and “as the amount of red increases, it becomes more vivid and youthful”. A strong hue of red in the pink and the hue of the yellow is bright, connoting that it will be fresh, fun and exciting.
The colours used don’t resemble any significance to traditional British colours, which seems odd as an Olympic logo usually symbolises the country (e.g. Beijing Olympics had Chinese writing brush strokes and the flag colour of red).
The word ‘London” and the Olympic rings are embedded in the main body of the logo, the Olympic rings are used to signify the counter in the ‘0’. Personally I think that without the Olympic Rings and the ‘London’ embedded, it would be difficult to recognise what the logo was for.
The logo was accused to resemble racist images, where the logo looked like the swastika with the hard edges. In addition, the logo resembled sexual acts and resembled the word of ‘Zion’. The word ‘2012’ has been broken up into two parts, this could be because of how people say the pronounce it as “twenty twelve”. But it is said that most effective logos are in the proportion of 2.25:1:25, so the layout of two lines would be successful.
Branding is a form of a promise in where they market their products to meet consumer’s expectations. Branding can be a form of a name, symbol, sign or device which can help consumers differentiate the person’s/ business’s product from competitors. It was said that it was first used on branding animals in England to show ownership, whilst later, Wedgewood used branding was used to connote quality.
By establishing a brand, it can create can create intangible value where the brand can portray a certain aura or reputation (e.g. quality) making the launch of new products to consumers easier as they are a trusted brand. It is used to differentiate from competitors and this could be in the form of visual applications such as packaging, form, colours, fonts and these would be based on the brand’s style.
Brands can associate with our senses either it be the product itself or the environment the brand is located, e.g. supermarket and with these senses, it is a system for differentiation. In addition, the concept branding can be attached to the concept of marketing where the most successful brands usually have a unique selling point where it is then advertised to customers.
Contextual studies –
After deciding on the theme Olympics from looking at my image analysis, I thought I might keep the research for the logo and delve in deeper into the theme of Olympics. I borrowed some books based on subject around Olympics such as branding and logos. I tried to find some books specifically about Olmypic design but only found one and gave a history on the past Olympic events in different countries.