Budapest is the fourth — and last, in terms of identity presentations — candidate city bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, along with Rome, Paris, and Los Angeles. Last week, the Budapest 2024 Bid Committee introduced its bid logo designed by local firm Graphasel, whose work was selected after three rounds of an open competition.
Balázs Fürjes described the logo story - a visual representation of the vitality of Budapest’s bid. At its centre is the emblem of the Freedom Statue, with the fresh, fortifying waters of the Danube at its feet, surrounded by the celebratory warmth and openness of the Hungarian personality.
My first reaction when I saw the logo was, “Yeah, party!”. It has a festiveness that most logos in general try to avoid in part because, sure, it can seem childish or not serious enough but in this case it works to convey the celebration aspect of the Olympics. At first, I thought the human figure in the center was meant to be an athlete celebrating but it’s a depiction of the Freedom Statue, which makes it work even better as it shows a landmark locals (and previous visitors) will recognize while still conveying a victory-esque message, similar to LA2024. The depiction of the Danube underneath is effective and the one distinctive element of Budapest you would expect to show up. The idea of making the logo out of pieces of the Olympic rings is very clever.
Execution-wise… I’m torn. I like the overall vibe and it’s very different from the other 2024 candidate city logos (see image at end of post) but I wish it were less Adobe Illustrator-y. Especially in the river lines, you can feel the jarring cuts… It’s, like, you can’t get your full Gestalt on. If they had somehow given this a flair of Hungary’s folk art, it could have been a total winner.
The video above is pretty great, once you get past the first few seconds. It really brings the concept to life.
In application, the identity has a Los Angeles 1984 lite appeal that with a few more rounds of refinement could be great but, again, it feels somewhat limited from what Adobe Illustrator allows. Overall, though, this might be the best system of all four candidate city logos or, at the very least, the least gradient-y.
Thanks to Ivanics Gábor for the tip.