Branding for London 2012

What do you think of this font? To be honest when I saw all the posters with this font I was a little bit shocked. This font was designed by Gareth Hague, it was called 2012Headline and it was created as the official typeface of the 2012 Olympic Games.

I first thought it was awful and and terrible design, but then when I entered to the Olympic Park and saw the whole thing, how it worked as a brand and how the whole institutional communication of the place flowed perfectly, I realised that I was wrong.

The decision to leave the “o” more circular gives a little bit of softness to the the whole LONDON idea, and as well as the idea of the ring, leaving the circles is a keeper.

“Although 2012Headline was designed after the logo was approved by LOCOG (so was presumably constrained to being a follower and not a leader) according to Hague himself the only thing the two typefaces share is a general angular spikiness; no blackletter, no graffiti, no Greek. But people will see what they see – the designer is never around to tell them what to think.”

The logo had a similar reaction. It didn´t receive too much love from press or people. it was “uncomfortable”. Horrible things were said about it, that it looks like a swastika, that its weird, that you can see Lisa Simpson on there, etc. To me, it has two views and that´s what I think it works, it works because it is shocking and it works because you remember it because it is weird enough. The 2012 of the Olympics is amazingly strong with its symmetrical corners and vibrant colours, very bold, very loud.

It works, yes it does. It is a memorable logo and font, and the magenta from all the signs that are placed in the subway is unmissable.

You can download it here

For font geeks, this article in typographica.com is very interesting.

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