In addition to making front-page news on all the major tabloids, the controversial logo prompted almost 50,000 people to sign a petition demanding it be changed. (It also received criticism from the industry itself. Three days after the logo was unveiled, design critic Adrian Shaughnessy wrote: “The Wolff Olins ‘brand’ for the London 2012 Olympics looks as if it has been designed by a committee desperate to prove its street credentials.”) Although the logo seems to have weathered the storm—two years later, it dances prominently on the 2012 Olympic website—many feel that it has done little to endear the graphic design industry to the public.
John Morgan, Boxing (left); Anthony Sheret, Jumping (right)
The majority of the posters featured strong yet simple graphics, some focusing on capturing a sense of movement and others presenting stylized or typographic interpretations of their given sport. In two cases, the designers drew upon their own athletic prowess for the sake of their art. For the BMX poster, Music inked the tires of bikes ridden by the Manchester BMX Club with four colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. (In a “stuff to sort” list on their home page, Music gives some insight into their process in making the posters: “buy BMX bikes (x4), get BMX bikes spray-painted white, test-ride spray-painted BMX bikes, buy plasters for grazed knees and elbows”).
Ian Anderson, Table Tennis (left); Nick Bell, Modern Pentathlon (right)
Marina Willner, Taekwondo (left); Fraser Muggeridge, Kayak Flatwater (right)
A panel of industry leaders selected Ruth Pearson‘s entry (above) for the 2009 Emerge Graduate Award, presented on September 25. “I based my poster around the tube map. By removing the lines, it gives the impression of a constellation, or city of lights,” Pearson explains.