In a process that started in early 2013, the United States Olympic Committee selected Boston this January as the Olympic Bid City of the U.S. for the 2024 Olympic Games, beating other applicant cities San Francisco, CA; Washington D.C.; and Los Angeles, CA. Boston’s logo was Noted here at the time of the announcement and it wasn’t very well received. Along with losing the U.S. bid, Los Angeles also lost the opportunity to implement a rather cool identity. (Although a couple of rumors hint that Boston’s bid may crumble in time for the official submission of a bid city to the International Olympic Committee in September and LA is more than ready to pick up the bid.) Headed by the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, who successfully hosted the Summer Games in 1932 and 1984, the bid team worked with M&C Saatchi LA, who in turn worked with Sydney-based RE: to design the identity.
As noted in their project page, all work shown are concepts and prototypes, except for the logo which was approved and used in the bid process.
Conceptually the lines are representative of a few aspects: The stretching shadows cast by the LA sun rising and setting along the Palm filled city; the tracks and lanes in which the athletes compete; the movement which is created by the athletes and the stripes on the american flag. The number of lines references the 5 olympic rings. The colours reference the 1986 LA Olympics as an incredible heritage and pride point.
As an added bonus the logo can be seen as a representation of the stars and stripes as the “A” letterform alludes to the shape of a star.
Although the logo dates back to early 2014 and the Applicant City competition is a bit of an old story, RE: just put up this case study, as I’m assuming the embargo on showing any of that work has been lifted, which is great because this work is quite good. One important thing to remember here is that Bid City logos can NOT show any Olympics-related graphics like the torch or the rings and they can NOT be used as the event logo.
The striped, extruded LA monogram is so great. It’s as unexpected as London 2012’s logo wanted to be but less shocking and jarring in its execution. The star shape of the “A” feels very LA-ish and, in its black and white version, the lines look like crosswalk lines, giving it a very urban feel. The logo works best in single color or with the gradient going from the “L” to the “A” instead of the gradation that goes from front to back (as I think that breaks the unity of the logo, which is what makes it interesting). It makes for a surprisingly appealing and effective logo.
In application, the identity goes ribbon-happy with abstract interpretations of different sports: a velodrome for cycling, a waving flag for sailing, a loopy loop for gymnastics, etc. All of them beautiful-looking backgrounds offset by a deadpan sans serif and some really long hyphens, punctuated by the logo — looking great small. One of the goals of the identity for a bid city is to communicate excitement and possibilities and this one excels at it with its undulating backdrops and bold typography that hint at the balance of the business implications of being a bid city and the entertainment potential of hosting the Games.
Thanks to Chris Elkerton for the tip.