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NYC 2012

“NYC2012, the committee leading New York’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 2012, today unveiled its new logo — a split image with counter-posed halves of two figures, each with an arm raised — a triumphant athlete and the iconic Statue of Liberty — that will embody the spirit of the bid and serve as the committee’s emblem throughout the international phase of the bidding process.”

“The logo is the centerpiece of a design program developed pro-bono by Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Integration Group

“The logo unveiling animation film was created jointly by Trollback & Co., a New York design firm, and Bud Greenspan, legendary Olympic filmmaker, both of whom contributed their work.”

The International Olympic Committee will decide on the host city for the 2012 Olympics on July 6, 2005.

UPDATE: Paula Scher’s proposal, logo and system.

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ARCHIVE ID 1902 FILED UNDER Branding and Identity
PUBLISHED ON Apr.06.2004 BY David Weinberger
Jeff Croft’s comment is:

Hmmm...I rather like the icon, but am not terribly smitten with the text treatment.

On Apr.06.2004 at 09:37 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> The logo is the centerpiece of a design program developed pro-bono by Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Integration Group”

Now that is smart pro-bono. I'm sure they spent endless hours working on the project, but you can't ask for much more visibility, recognition and PR than an olympic bid… OK, maybe designing the logo/program for the actual 2012 olympics tops it.

…still waiting for the movie to load.

On Apr.06.2004 at 09:51 AM
JonSel’s comment is:

The Statue of Liberty is the most hackneyed of NY (and American) clichés. This is horrible and a shame.

The good news: if NYC does, for some reason, get the Olympics, they have to re-do the logo.

On Apr.06.2004 at 09:52 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Also of note, Felix Sockwell (aka Feluxe Socksmell) worked on the project too. I like the spray painted approach.

On Apr.06.2004 at 09:58 AM
JonSel’s comment is:

Felix's rougher iterations with multiple paper strips are much more put-together than the final, with the tacked-on type.

On Apr.06.2004 at 10:09 AM
Sam’s comment is:

The color scheme seems random, and the scale of the runner seems slightly too small compared to Mme. Liberty (plus the fingers are all wrong), and I can't see anything other than the Twin Towers in the two panels. Plus, this city's going to be a nightmare if the Olympics do come here. Now that's poor experience design, on a civic level.

On Apr.06.2004 at 10:20 AM
Tan’s comment is:

Ugh. Looks like an "Up With People!" musical promo poster. The block cut paper, reverse silhouette is also one of the most overused graphic clichés around. Bad student kind of cliché. Not impressed.

>Also of note, Felix Sockwell (aka Feluxe Socksmell) worked on the project too. I like the spray painted approach.

oh God, here we go. Let's here about how you got shafted again this time, Felix.

I do like the spray painted version though. It's more NYC. But the silhouettes still suck no matter how you stylize it.

On Apr.06.2004 at 10:45 AM
griff’s comment is:

Leave it to New York to make a global event all about New York.

I understand it is about ny winning the bid, but it just seems like a narrow perspective.

Tan - you are right on with the up with people comment.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:00 AM
Tan’s comment is:

Looking back, I really liked the logo for Nagano and SLC.

Those logos are so classic and dignified. They're universal, yet still are unique identifiers of the host cities.

Course, they were not logos created for the bid itself. I'm sure the Olympic commission has strict guidelines.

Landor created the SLC logo. I'll see if I can hunt down some case study stuff that I can share. No promises though.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:07 AM
David Weinberger’s comment is:

Leave it to New York to make a global event all about New York.

The Statue of Liberty is the most hackneyed of NY (and American) clichés.

Regardless of it being an overused symbol, she's holding a torch. It's both subtle and obvious. Good work.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:08 AM
Dom’s comment is:

This is my first post here. I'm really liking this site. Anyway, does anyone think it's strange to be designing the logo this early on? I mean, they have 5 years until this is going to happen right? Not to say that a good logo couldn't stand the test of time, but does this seem kind of early to anyone to be designing this thing already? Maybe I'm missing something.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:10 AM
Tan’s comment is:

Ok, ok. I'll give you the torch thing David.

And Dom -- this logo is just for the NYC bid, not for the event itself. At least I hope it's not.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:18 AM
David Weinberger’s comment is:

Welcome Dom, you can now feel free to post 10 times a day. Tan is correct, this logo is just for the bid to host the Olympics, not the actual Olympics.

Ok, ok. I'll give you the torch thing David.

Just curious, did everyone make the torch connection when they first saw the mark?

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:21 AM
Zoelle’s comment is:

I didn't, but nice call.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:25 AM
Rick’s comment is:

I can appreciate that they wanted to use all five of the Olympic colors in the logo somewhere, but the multicolor 2012 looks a little too Gymboree.

Strike that. Gymboree has great designers.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:30 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Initially I like the logo. I really like the metaphor, achieved through Mme. Liberty and the other half with the raised arm. It's uplifting. Sure, it's a cliché, but in this specific instance it works, there is a reason — both visual and conceptual — to merit the use of the statue. I don't encourage clichés, but this one isn't that bad. And the torch thing, which I hadn't noticed, is a really nice, understated touch.

The execution… it's OK. It looks like it was done very professionally. I really don't like the transparency effect of the blue form with the guy running, which is why I liked the more simplified black and white version that Feluxe did (seems he has removed the post). The type is OK too, nothing earth-shattering, just well done.

Another plus, is that they managed to include the much-desired diversity. You got a woman (Mme. Liberty) and you have a guy (that can be of any race, nationality, sexual preference, etc.) That is not an easy thing to achieve.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:35 AM
ps’s comment is:

i thought it was for a window cleaner. but i realize there is no squeegee.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:38 AM
JonSel’s comment is:

but i realize there is no squeegee.

Giuliani banned them several years ago.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:46 AM
marian’s comment is:

Landor created the SLC logo. I'll see if I can hunt down some case study stuff that I can share.

I have to say i really love the SLC olympic logo. The folks (Infinite Scale Design) that worked on the SLC games gave a presentation here a few months ago, and they told us a bit about this Landor designed logo. It incorporates a flame, a snowflake and some kind of Navaho pattern (which arouses my suspicions re cultural theft, but ...)

This NYC bid logo though. Yes, I saw the torch, and that's clever, but it would have been a lot more effective with just the torch instead of the bifurcated jumping dufus.

oops, did i say dufus? sorry.

However, Vancouver's own Olympic bid graphics are equally putrid, if not worse.

On Apr.06.2004 at 11:58 AM
Zoelle’s comment is:

It looks as though there is an awkward figure/ground relationship happening between the panes of color and the two figures. The green pane looks as though it is behind the statue, while the person on the right looks as if they have been excluded by placing them behind a tinted pane of color. The juxtaposition of the two relationships feels odd. I don't know what other color to suggest for the person. Any other color may interfere with the nondiscriminating effects of the color blue. Maybe make the blue pane red or yellow?

On Apr.06.2004 at 12:00 PM
Dom’s comment is:

Thanks for the welcome. I can tell that this is going to get addicting.

On Apr.06.2004 at 12:09 PM
Zoelle’s comment is:

Upon further examination, maybe it would make a good license plate?

On Apr.06.2004 at 12:13 PM
Brook’s comment is:

i'm on board with the concept / metaphor. the execution is a little lame. too clean maybe? what really bothers me is the big red 2. yikes.

On Apr.06.2004 at 12:17 PM
griff’s comment is:

David - Just curious, did everyone make the torch connection when they first saw the mark?

No, I did not, probably because the NYC text just below it confirmed my first glance assumption that it was that statue. Once that link was made, I did not consider any deeper or double meaning. Thanks for pointing it out!

On Apr.06.2004 at 12:23 PM
Patrick’s comment is:

At first glance, I liked the logo. At second glance, I still like the logo. This is a tough assignment and I think the solution presented is eye catching, and full of meaning.

What I like about it is that it isn't another soft, warm fuzzy olympic bid logo. Look at the Vancouver logo. In trying to say something to everyone, you end up with a logo that says nothing. Although I really like the SLC and Nagano icons, the NYC one is a nice contrast. A different take on the subjet.

The NYC bid logo captures the spirit of competition, the host city, and does it in a "now" NYC kind of way. I like the text treatment for the same reasons.

My only gripe is that the athelete/statue relationship seems a bit unbalanced because the athelete is in light blue. It creates a visual illusion of the athelete being significantly smaller than the statue.

On Apr.06.2004 at 12:44 PM
pk’s comment is:

fuggly. the first thing it made me think of was a drag show. it says more about dual aspects of a personality than anything else, and i distinclty read those figures as female (obviously) and male (my interpretation).

at any rate, it's not a logo. it's a gimmicky illustration.

On Apr.06.2004 at 12:55 PM
marian’s comment is:

Really ... one day someone's going to post the link to a new logo and we're all going to be awestruck by the sheer genius and meticulous execution of it, right? We'll fall to our knees in worship, tears will run down our faces and we will wish wish wish that we had made the logo ourselves. Some of us will pack it in and become gardeners, others will tape a blown-up GIF to their walls and say "The pinnacle. To this I aspire."


On Apr.06.2004 at 12:57 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> Although I really like the SLC and Nagano icons, the NYC one is a nice contrast.

Though, it must be considered that this is a "pitch" logo not the official Olympic event logo, which each require different approaches. The bid logo has to be more inviting, emotional, expressive, whereas the Olympic logo has to be more "official". And like Tan said, the olympic mark needs to be classic, dignified and universal — this bid logo is more of a "Hey, NY is fun, come party over here". Maybe not as fratty.

On Apr.06.2004 at 12:58 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

Some local NYC blogchatter about the logo. I personally like the comment about it looking like the logo is surrendering. Probably a little NYC paranoia creeping in there.

On Apr.06.2004 at 12:59 PM
Armin’s comment is:

One day Marian… one day…

On Apr.06.2004 at 01:00 PM
ryin’s comment is:

i don't see this as much of a logo...the type/image proportion seems out of whack...i assume a black and white version would just knock the right side figure out of that shape...the concept is an interesting one, and probably sounds better in theory than application...plus it looks like someone has a gun in this guys/gals back...so it represents new york on a few levels apparently...

On Apr.06.2004 at 01:32 PM
Jeff G’s comment is:

I quite like the very American type and the happy colours, but not the picture.

Maybe (s)he's just been shot and the blood is running out into a number two shape.

On Apr.06.2004 at 01:40 PM
Teal’s comment is:

What I see on first impression (besides the two towers theme) is the statue of Liberty waving her hands in victory. Sort of an "Its all about me" look.

I could see it as surrender too, though thats not how it hits me.

It seems very insubstantial. It doesn't have the weight or the distance to carry off a sense of grandness. Perhaps a different type at the bottom would have helped that. Maybe they could have done a multicolor NY skyline, as the baseline. Either in the text, or above it?

On Apr.06.2004 at 01:46 PM
Patrick’s comment is:

Though, it must be considered that this is a "pitch" logo not the official Olympic event logo, which each require different approaches.

Should have been more clear. I was comparing it to the genral approach that is often taken with Olympic design (be it in the pitch phase or the official phase).

My first reaction to the image was positive and, I imagine, the intended reaction/reading. I think the torch and the obvious representation of the statue prevent it from being read in a negative way (hold-up, surrender).

On Apr.06.2004 at 01:53 PM
david e.’s comment is:

it has no cohesion...it just looks thrown together. the type has way too much weight, and i agree that the colors seem totally arbitrary.

the worst part is that its a 3-quarter view of the statue of liberty, but placing the other image next to it turns it into a front view, which makes the arm look too short and out of proportion. instead of a dramatic looking statue, it looks like a little kid jumping up in the air...maybe a little punk rock kid with spikey hair and a deformed right arm.

it could also be a criminal caught by police..."i give up! dont shoot!"

On Apr.06.2004 at 02:27 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Looks fine to me.

I can't get to Felix's article, though. Felix...if you're reading, it looks like you need to kick your server.

On Apr.06.2004 at 03:00 PM
Teal’s comment is:

I just realised the two color panels are an "N" and the figure (taken as a whole) is a "Y". (missed that before.)

On Apr.06.2004 at 03:23 PM
griff’s comment is:

Teal - good catch, I would have never noticed!

On Apr.06.2004 at 03:56 PM
Paul’s comment is:

It's been mentioned here aleady, but I am really bothered by the obvious WTC reference. One has to assume it's intentional, in which case it has a very self-absorbed subtext: hey look, we're still champs, even though we've been through hell! It's the grossest of "survivor" mentality cheap sentimentalism and makes feel embarassed for NYC, and America, by extension.

I don't mean in any way to belittle the suffering of real people, but this mark seems to beg for special consideration based upon this same suffering. I think that's lame.

On Apr.06.2004 at 04:16 PM
Rick Moore’s comment is:

The colors remind me of this.

On Apr.06.2004 at 04:29 PM
scott’s comment is:

This logo is a smart, good-looking solution to probably the most difficult identity-design problem in the history of the universe. It had to please the ad agency, the politicians, the donors, the press and several million New Yorkers while still following the meticulous and arcane rules which govern the bid process and Olympic design in general.

Given this situation, what logo would not get torn apart by everybody and his brother? I for one am extremely glad that it's not another meaningless rainbow flame/swirl/fan belt like every other Olympic logo of recent memory. It says New York, it says athletics, it says the thrill of victory (no agony of defeat, of course). So: nice job.

On Apr.06.2004 at 04:32 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

As much as I don't care for this mark, I don't see any, at least intended, twin towers metaphors. I do see how it could be read into, although I didn't see it until pointed out. I would be surprised if this was an intentional reference.

On Apr.06.2004 at 04:32 PM
Paul’s comment is:

ultimately, intent isn't really the point. Insensitivity to a highly predictable misinterpretation is also a pretty big oversight, I think.

On Apr.06.2004 at 04:43 PM
Jerel’s comment is:

I didn't get the twin towers reference on first or second look, but now that it's been pointed out I can't shake it. I wonder if the creator's locality (or what else?) obscured that "highly predictable" interpretation or not?

I don't think the logo is going to win the greatest logo ever award, but I think it is still fairly successful despite the figure-ground issue, athlete/statue relationship complicated by color selection, and type treatment issues already voiced (that I heartily second).

I think the all black spray paint stencil one that Sockwell briefly had viewable was even better...of course, that one did away with the color panel problem and didn't have a type treatment.

Personally, I almost wish it were worse as I'd rather not see the olympics come to nyc in 2012.

On Apr.06.2004 at 04:59 PM
Greg’s comment is:

The thing about the logo is it's nice. Nice doesn't win many friends these days among designers. But that's just it, isn't it? Pardon me Felix if I step on a toe, but I don't think this is about "design" in an artistic sort of way, it's more about "design" as a plan of action with a specific intent. You can debate the art of it all you want, but the marketing angle is steady. There are many interpretations but only one intent, to host the games and show what NYC can offer. I'm really impressed with the amount of art they got away with here, considering the overtones and undertones that so many people can read into a piece like this. Think what a different branding strategist might have come up with. I shudder at the thought.

As far as the art itself, I agree with a lot of comments. I didn't see the Towers, but immediately saw the "Y" which led me to the "N". I would have stuck to two (or three, counting the cyan) colors, the 2012 all in the Liberty green, and I would have masked the Statue in a lighter shade of green instead of the white to complete the box like the runner. The red and yellow need to be repeated somewhere to make their inclusion necessary. Maybe in the torch. The torch was very obvious. I actually thought it was a torchbearer making a Y until I saw the spikes.

On Apr.06.2004 at 06:32 PM
vibranium’s comment is:

You don't have to french out with it behind the dumpster of the night-club, but take it home to momma for criminy sake. Lord almighty this is a tough, tough crowd - and i love ya for it.

But, sheesh already. Another abstract, flowery, swirly, B.S. O-ring / colors of the harmonious rainbow load of crap and I'm gonna blow. Okay that was harsh, nothing against the SLC, etc.

It says: NY. It says: Olympics. It says: victory, pride. It's clever in that 'suuuure you coulda thought of something better' sorta way. It's a home run as far as I'm concerned.

Ultimately, hopefully it's a mark folks can get behind and (der!) support.

Um, hon, can you check this? Was I too harsh? what? don't press wha-

peace, my two cents.

On Apr.06.2004 at 07:59 PM
Jason’s comment is:

A friendly logo. It has a not for profit feel and really screams race for the cure. Ah well. I suppose that's what the city's clinging to still, rebirth and revitalization. Hope and victory.

And the typeface? Is that Din or Trade Gothic Bold?

On Apr.06.2004 at 08:35 PM
scott’s comment is:

And the typeface? Is that Din or Trade Gothic Bold?

It looks like Knockout to me. My guess is Series C, No. 50.

On Apr.06.2004 at 09:18 PM
Tan’s comment is:

> Given this situation, what logo would not get torn apart by everybody and his brother?

Scott, with all due respect, that's like saying "but the logo has a great personality." Ok, so it was hard to do -- it still doesn't mean it's any less mediocre.

> Lord almighty this is a tough, tough crowd

...and fucking ruthless too. The image of a drag queen getting held up while running is the funniest and cruelest criticism I've heard in a long time. I love this crowd when it smells blood in the water.

On Apr.07.2004 at 02:07 AM
Jerel’s comment is:

Via JonSel's previously mentioned nycblogchatter (aka gothamist.com) comes the "complete logo revealed!!"

Thanks for the chuckle, Neil.

Disclosure: don't actually know neil.

On Apr.07.2004 at 09:03 AM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

First Impression

I've seen the image before.

Yes, On Felix Sockwell's website.

Felix you've got to give me the 411 on this.

Sorry, I missed your post before it was removed.

The Design is far better than the Design Developed by 212 Associates in the initial stages.

Referencing, the Logo of the Empire State Building

with 2012 going through the tip of State Building.

When New York were competing against San Francisco.

I certainly thought San Francisco presented the

strongest Design Solutions. Published in CommArts Magazine.

Such is life.

The only way New York will not sponsor the Olympics in 2012 is they decide they're no longer interested.

Sam You're absolutely Correct.

The Hands are wrong. And it looks as if the image

is drawn from the back. Not from the front as it should be.

PK Who can argue with you?

Although, what you stated, may not have been intentional. The Logo certainly projects that image.

Teal I saw the "N" "Y" thingy

at first glance of the Logo. Reminds me of the YWCA Logo Saul Bass created.

The abstract "W" and stylized "Y" bursting into

a ray of sun.

I think the Designer went for the Twin Towers feel

of the Logo. Think the "N" thing sought of just happened unexpectedly because of the "Y" shape of the arms.

Scott You're right about the politics of Design. It is essentially Design by


However, cheap shot at Landor.

TAN No need to Defend Landor.

There Record is beyond Reproach. And surpassed by None!!!!!!

Marian From your mouth to GOD'S EARS!!!!!!!!

On Apr.07.2004 at 09:11 AM
scott’s comment is:

Given this situation, what logo would not get torn apart by everybody and his brother?

Scott, with all due respect, that's like saying "but the logo has a great personality."

No, it's like saying "easy for you to say."

My point was that regardless of the quality of the logo (let me be clear: I think this one is not the best logo ever on planet Earth, but simply a good one), people are going to be highly--and sometimes unfairly--critical due to the complicated and high-profile nature of the project.

Hence Tan's comment: "I love this crowd when it smells blood in the water." I love this crowd more when we discuss the ideas and process of design as a way to gain some kind of insight into what we do. Instead what often happens is the equivalent of throwing a steak into a cage at the zoo.

On Apr.07.2004 at 09:22 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Well, I think the "truth", in this specific post, lies between blood in water and steak in zoo. We all agree, and acknowledge even if unspoken, that this logo must have been a tough project — given the amount of people involved and the nature of the project itself. None of us are diminishing that — maybe some a little — but beyond that, there is nothing evil about critiquing the formal execution of the logo, it helps bring out some do's and dont's of logo design.

In conclusion, I think we can throw a steak in a cage at the zoo and throw in a steak knife, fork and cloth napkin to encourage table manners.

But enough zoo/meat analogies.

On Apr.07.2004 at 09:32 AM
marian’s comment is:

the "complete logo revealed!!"

This version looks much more balanced to me.

mmmmm. Steeaaak ...


On Apr.07.2004 at 10:18 AM
Brady’s comment is:

Got a busy day but could not hold out so here some quick thoughts.

> Inline version is better than stacked.

> Maybe the color pattern of the type should be more colloquial. I would like to see NYC with mixed colors rather than 2012 because people read NYC as "En Wigh See" and no one would pronounce 2012 as "Two Zero One Two"

> Not sure why the athlete is 'behind' the blue field. Could read into that The City comes before the athletes.

> Sure you can read into the two fields as the WTC. If they were not separated would that probability drop?

> You can read into the mark that it looks like someone being mugged - with hands up and fingers spread. Victory - in that position - is sometimes expressed with someone raising fists, but then one could read into it that it looks like a 'solidarity' mark and is less friendly.

> Like anything else, anything can be read into anything.

BIG FOR INSTANCE HERE - I did this http://www.columbusbrand.com/work/collateral/c_compass.html" target="blank">job (click the image to see other spreads), that was for an employee motivation/incentive program that involved not only workplace performance but community involvement as well. "Capture the light," was the provided title for the program. While it was heavily debated for its spiritual/religious undertones, they stuck with it. We did tone it down by writing support copy that read, "Capture the light. Build our future." It was the theme introduction book and the concept was to speak about how our hands touch everything we do in life and was meant to be positive and motivational. The job was designed, approved, printed delivered and was ready to be distributed.

Until some one said that the cover was religious - we tried to warn them - which was followed by the comment that, "Islamics use one hand to eat with and the other to clean themselves." What does that have to do with anything!?!? This is about how our hands accomplish the things that define who we are. According to this person's logic nothing should ever show someone's hands!

Needless to say that one comment destroyed whole job. What was done to replace it was your typical corporate speak with a backdrop of heavily composed (forced) photos of every possible "type" of employee that could work at the company.

I digress...

> So what if they used Mme. Liberty? Would the skyline be better? How about an Apple? Why not the overly used metro system graphics?

Brian Collins said, "Our goal was to create a symbol for New York’s Olympic bid that would be instantly understood by anyone who saw it from anywhere around the world. The image speaks to the ethos of a city celebrating the Olympic Spirit, and nothing could say it better for New York than the image of the Statue of Liberty, with her outstretched arm holding the torch, joined to the arm of an athlete lifted in celebration."

If this is the case, then - stylistic opinions aside - did OM/BIG not nail it? It's simple, to the point and easily recognized by people around the world.

Should they feel good about what they have accomplished? Yes. They did the job well. I like it. Would I change a few things? Yes. Therefore, is it perfect? No. Yet, while, we all have our similar but varying opinions, if this and every other piece of work we discuss here and in our own circles was perfect then life would be boring.


> I love this crowd more when we discuss the ideas and process of design as a way to gain some kind of insight into what we do.

Can't agree with you more.

On Apr.07.2004 at 10:31 AM
matthew’s comment is:

The Olympics here would be bad for just about everyone. Who was sitting around thinking NY just wasn't a big enough target yet? And who that lives here whats to deal with that? I know this is a thread about the design, but when I look at the logo, all I can think of is how much I don't want the Olympics here, and what a nightmare it would be.

On Apr.07.2004 at 11:10 AM
James Craig’s comment is:

David Weinberger wrote:

> Just curious, did everyone make the torch

> connection when they first saw the mark?

I first saw it on CNN Monday night. I was across the room so I didn't notice the crown. I made the Olympic torch connection then, but didn't notice it was the Statue of Liberty until the second viewing online.

On Apr.07.2004 at 12:39 PM
mGee’s comment is:

Why green for the lady liberty block?

Why are there 4 colors used in 2012?

I agree that the color treatment seems way too random.

On Apr.07.2004 at 12:53 PM
Tan’s comment is:

> People are going to be highly--and sometimes unfairly--critical due to the complicated and high-profile nature of the project...we discuss the ideas and process of design as a way to gain some kind of insight into what we do.

But this is an informal critique, no more, no less. I think most people here are discussing the ideas ingrained in the logo. But I think where the perceived unfair harshness stems from the fact that we are designers talking to designers, not clients or the public. No punches pulled.

>I love this crowd more when we discuss the ideas and process of design as a way to gain some kind of insight into what we do.

Sure, I'd love to. I just think we should lighten up a bit at the same time..

On Apr.07.2004 at 12:57 PM
mGee’s comment is:

After reading's someone's comment regarding the reference to the twin towers, I took another look at the logo and now with this WTC reference, I can't help getting the impression that the person's silhouette looks too much like....this may seem callous but it's the impression I get now...looks too much like a person falling....I'm very sure that this isn't what the designer's intended...but this is just the sort of thing they should have been careful of not doing.

On Apr.07.2004 at 01:01 PM
Armin’s comment is:

That's a bit of a stretch.

So this logo is a drag queen, with bad fingers, being mugged and then being thrown off the Twin Towers?

On Apr.07.2004 at 01:29 PM
mGee’s comment is:

Not really a stretch at all.

On Apr.07.2004 at 01:31 PM
Zoelle’s comment is:

Now I see Jesus and stained glass windows!

C'mon, this could go on and on.

On Apr.07.2004 at 01:31 PM
Sam Sherwood’s comment is:

I actually get a more 'old school' feeling from the mark -- something that represents an early 90's New York. Perhaps high-tops, brightly colored jackets, and boomboxes.

Overall, I think it would have been much more satisfying if the final product came off as illustrated, rather than traced. The idea has incredible potential, but it looks like the majority of effort was placed in the process and not the art.

It's so difficult to go into an in-depth critique without knowing the actual level of contact involved. This mark could be the culmination of too many cooks, or even an easy-bake...

On Apr.07.2004 at 01:58 PM
marian’s comment is:

This is really quite funny. I have always said that logo design is so fucking difficult because it's the Rorschach test of the design world.

In one little icon we start to draw out all these associations, and in this instance it's really pushing the psychological buttons of y'all as Americans and as New Yorkers in particular.

This logo is effectively bringing up all sorts of deep rooted fears, ambivalences and desires about being a New Yorker, and an American post 911. It's all there, from the tragedy to the triumph.

At the risk of sounding clinical: fascinating.

On Apr.07.2004 at 02:10 PM
Brook’s comment is:

Who was sitting around thinking NY just wasn't a big enough target yet?

i've been thinking this the entire time. please please please do not have the olympics in NYC. there is a very real chance that there are going to be major attacks in Athens this summer. there are loads of terrorists already in greece...they dont have to find a way to get there. the US has already shown that we will be unable to prevent all attacks at the olympics. there was the bomb in the garbage in Atlanta. and that was by a racist and an anti-abortion extremist. he didn't even hate every american like the current brand of terrorist does. and there are probably plenty of those (not referring to a race here) living in america right now.

On Apr.07.2004 at 02:15 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

...sigh...the terrorists have already won...


On Apr.07.2004 at 02:59 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

I love NYC blog Gothamist, for many reasons. The fact that they've posted Paula Scher's Olympic logo proposal is only one of them.

On Apr.07.2004 at 04:05 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I can't believe they got the inside scoop before us.

Interesting approach… some of the shapes are too childrenish for my taste. But the visual representation of the statue of Liberty is quite nice and clever. Of Scher's and BIG's, I like BIG's more.

On Apr.07.2004 at 04:17 PM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

Sorry I had to take down the post. It'll be clear to go back up soon.

Hmm. So Tan and Jonsel dont like it. Great. Theyre just jealous.

Personally (honestly) I think its damn good. They called me in to do some treatments on it and didnt use my advice, but I respect that (hey, its not my design. Brian Darling did it).

Paula Scher's design: too complicated. Vague (is it a sun or Lady Liberty's crown?) I wonder what Sagmeister's looked like. Anyone seen it?

On Apr.07.2004 at 04:46 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

Hmm. So Tan and Jonsel dont like it. Great. They're just jealous.

Jealous? Of course. What a kick-ass project. But I reacted viscerally, and it was negative. To be honest, I like your treatments, Felix, far more than the final BIG mark. Theirs looks like the client got too involved in actual art direction instead of trusting the artists they had "hired". I don't think it resolves well as a logo mark and it is not as well constructed as I tend to expect from Ogilvy's work.

But that's just pure form. On a conceptual level, I like the juxtaposition of the two silhouettes. I wish the athlete wasn't blue, because you lose the connection to the Statue form. I'm so tired of Statue of Liberty logos for NY (and America). I guess I'm softening a little on the conceptual angle, though.

BTW, I don't love Paula's logo either. More jealousy, I guess! Oh, and I saw some of Landor's early work. Some really great stuff, some not so great. Lots of deeper thinking that might not be so obvious, which is probably why it wasn't chosen.

On Apr.07.2004 at 05:00 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

How beautiful is this? You can see the past official Olympic logos on the official Olympics site.

On Apr.07.2004 at 05:08 PM
Rob’s comment is:

Certainly, this won't be the last word on this and there have been many a fine word so far. But after looking several times, then really looking, and going so far as to study the elements, my impression is that (shared here, I know) that the type for one, does not integrate well with the graphic elements. The red '2' seems a bit too visually boisterous and seems to demand most of the eye's attention.

Credit them, just a bit, with the flame thing. But that is what is in Lady Liberty's hand anyway. And I'm just not totally comfortable with the juxtaposition of the rectangles, Are they trying to show progression from Liberty to the Olympics (ie, passing the torch) or are they just signalling a touchdown? (Sorry for the football refernce but looking at both arms up, it gave me that visual cue).

As designer, I've always enjoyed commenting on others work and looking toward it for inspiration, both good and bad. I think it's our nature to critique others work since it's such a part of what we do. And as it is quite subjective, the comments here are good for all of us to take in and analyze, so that we may grow to be better designers.

On Apr.07.2004 at 05:17 PM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

jonsel, yes, points well made.

i agree, the mark is not perfect on a certain level. the colors are nice, the concept is there, but the execution misses by a hair. it has no soul, no "artwork". its half way between cut paper and window washing with neither present. its "faux faux ". (new word, write that down).

i was flattered to be included but now its back to assuming the position: bragging that my ideas were killed - which of course is the story of my career...

On Apr.07.2004 at 06:42 PM
surts’s comment is:

I'm not running a WPP size company yet so maybe in a couple years I'll understand this pro-bono thing. I was a bit disappointed to read the companies involved that were willing to do the design for free. I can understand the design as donation thing to a degree, but the Olympics is a money making venture. It's great to get your name out there (maybe if an opportunity like that came my way I'd do the same thing) however it makes me wonder if there's a couple layers of hypocrisy.

On Apr.07.2004 at 07:51 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Kurt, at Pentagram, sent me the images of the work they did — he did feel guilty of sending Gothamist the images first.

I added the images at the bottom of David's original post. Thanks Kurt!

On Apr.07.2004 at 08:40 PM
scott’s comment is:

I was a bit disappointed to read the companies involved that were willing to do the design for free. I can understand the design as donation thing to a degree, but the Olympics is a money making venture.

Actually it's not. From the International Olympic Committee website:

"The IOC is an international non-governmental non-profit organisation and the creator of the Olympic Movement. The IOC exists to serve as an umbrella organisation of the Olympic Movement. It owns all rights to the Olympic symbols, flag, motto, anthem and Olympic Games. Its primary responsibility is to supervise the organisation of the summer and winter Olympic Games."

On Apr.07.2004 at 09:18 PM
surts’s comment is:

Thanks for the background info Scott, I guess my skepticism is based on the dollars generated from tv contracts and the merchandise sold that goes back to the I.O.C.

On Apr.07.2004 at 09:37 PM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

Believe me they make money. Not initially but they get paid.

Its more about ego/press than anything.

On Apr.07.2004 at 10:41 PM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

I love it when people/designers on this site take the comments too much to heart. Word is the O&M camp are a bit upset from some of the things said on this post. I, for one, am extremely ashamed of myself for taking

this down from my site.

enjoy your weekend folks. mine starts now.

On Apr.07.2004 at 11:12 PM
Sam Sherwood’s comment is:

Wow, Feluxe -- tho' not the direction I had in my head, your page's examples add those finishing touches that were previously absent. The fingers of the athlete are an improvement, as well. Though you don't need me to say this, I think you were on to something.

If the majority of the critiques in this post weren't constructive, I'd say any bent feelings were justified; however, I don't think that's the case. Instead of internalizing criticism as an attack, it's better to find out why so many people think like they do.

That aside, thanks for posting that back up. It's refreshing to take a peek at the processes of others' from time to time.

On Apr.08.2004 at 02:42 AM
Brady’s comment is:


> Word is the O&M camp are a bit upset from some of the things said on this post.

Since you have an inside track, would you encourage Bill and Brian to join the discussion?

I would not blame them for refraining from participating, though.

Many of the comments on this post have been far from the critical discourse that has been present on Speak Up.

While it is within the rights (privileges?) that Armin grants on this site -- vicious, ungrounded attacks with no resulting construct as a product of those attacks does not provide a means for conversation, much less an environment that would encourage a creator to join such a discussion.

Yet, Arimin's "pair of turds" comment lured Debbie into the fray. Ha!

BTW - Felix,

Thanks for sharing the contributions you made. Not so much that I think they would have made the final better or worse, but that it is always interesting, if not important, to see the process and ideas that are brought to the party -- which is rare to see in this industry. We sometimes act as if we are working on nuclear secrets.

On Apr.08.2004 at 09:41 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> Word is the O&M camp are a bit upset from some of the things said on this post.

Brady is right, many of the comments so far have been far from what was said during UPS or VH1. But in between, there is some well-grounded critique.

And I don't know what to say to O & M being upset… Are they upset many didn't "like" it? Well, it's a critique, not a stroll under a New York starry, light-breezed fall night.

On Apr.08.2004 at 11:44 AM
Tan’s comment is:

>Many of the comments on this post have been far from the critical discourse that has been present on Speak Up.

I agree Brady, but I'd rather have truthfulness than political correctness. Let's not call for manners everytime someone uses a derogatory term. O&M are big boys -- they should be able to handle themselves in critical environments far more hostile than this. I'd expect no less from a team of that caliber.

But now that things have settled down a bit -- yes, maybe we can have a more professional, critical discussion. I've been thinking about why I think this logo's weak, and I've come to some conclusions.

Past Olympic logos have been representational symbols of ideals. These symbols are derived from the visual environment, culture, heritage, and existing iconography of the particular country or in this case, host city.

For example, Nagano's symbol was a flower, probably a chrysthanthemum, the national flower of Japan. The flower itself represents virtues, tradition, vibrancy, etc. It's also a symbol that's prevalent throughout Japan's culture, used as an element in everything from textiles to names for cars.

Ok, now let's look at the SLC logo. The snowflake symbol is based on a Navajo pattern, paying homage to the heritage of the region. To me, it also subtly reminds me of the art-deco architecture of the Mormon cathedral and its spires, which again, represents unity, purity, etc.

The Sydney symbol. Not my favorite, but you can see the Aboriginal symbols and representation that influenced the shape. (I'm going somewhere with this, I promise.)

Ok, so now we have NYC. Think of all of the visual and cultural elements of the city. The tile mosaics in the subways, the art-deco ironwork of the Chrysler building and Rockefeller center, the 18th and 19th century stonework of places like Ellis Island and the Brooklyn bridge, the modern shapes of the Guggenheim and Manhattan, and so on, and so on. And of course, the Statue of Liberty.

In Paula Scher's logo solution (which I think is much more successful and which I prefer), she uses the rays of Madame Liberty's crown to anchor iconography representing NYC and the international goodwill of the games. Fitting, since the 7 spikes of the crown represents the 7 continents and the 7 seas of the world. A very poetic extension of the representative symbol.

Now, let's look at BIG's solution. With all of the richness of elements, symbols, iconography, and heritage of NYC -- the element they chose to use is a split silhouette of the statue and a person running. All encased in 2 arbitrary, juxtaposed shapes, devoid of any symbolism related to the city or the spirit of the Olympics itself. Furthermore, the silhouettes are literal, not even stylized or graphically expressive. Ok, so the hands are raised in competitive celebration, and there happens to be a torch in the statue. So is that the extent and complexity of symbollic representation? And of all of the elements I've mentioned earlier that makes NY -- you're telling me that the silhouette is the most fitting and representative shape and form?

You see, that's the problem with that logo.

There's nothing direly wrong with it. But there's also nothing extraordinary or intelligent about it either. And in this instance -- when the opportunity is so grand, and the challenge to create something great is posed to a design mecca like NY -- a result this underwhelming is a tragedy.

On Apr.08.2004 at 12:07 PM
Greg’s comment is:

Tan, I may be wrong, but isn't this just the preliminary logo for the committee that's bidding for the olympics in NYC? If so, isn't comparing it to prior olympic logos kind of a mismatch? Shouldn't you be comparing it to prior olympic bidding committee's logos? I imagine they were also a little less inspired than the final versions.

On Apr.08.2004 at 12:25 PM
Tan’s comment is:

> isn't comparing it to prior olympic logos kind of a mismatch?

Yes, the NYC is only a bid -- but does that mean design expectations should be lessened or more informal? Hence, making it a mismatch?

I don't know for certain, since I don't know what the OIC's marching orders for the NY firms were. Maybe they were more casual intentions.

But personally, I don't think so. From the looks of Paula Scher's solution -- I think they didn't either.

If you think about it, one of the primary purpose of the bid logo should be to also stir excitement and generate support throughout the city in order to emotionally as well as financially fuel the bid effort. Develop a sense of ownership to its citizens for the games.

That's a tall order for that logo. There shouldn't be a distinction in quality or execution. So no, I don't think it's a mismatch at all.

On Apr.08.2004 at 01:43 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

Culled from a few sources, including a site dedicated to olympic bids, a bunch of previous and current bid logos.

I'll point out the Nagano bid logo on the second row in the last column since the type is rather small. I don't know who did most of these logos. I do know the Atlanta bid logo (which, at the time, many Atlantans preferred to Landor's official logo, mostly because Landor wasn't a local firm) was done by Brad Copeland of what is now Iconologic. Sydney's bid logo was done by Minale Tattersfield.

I wonder if the Australians are as bored with Sydney Opera House logos as we are with Statue of America renditions.

On Apr.08.2004 at 05:30 PM
Brady’s comment is:


>I agree Brady, but I'd rather have truthfulness than political correctness. Let's not call for manners everytime someone uses a derogatory term. O&M are big boys -- they should be able to handle themselves in critical environments far more hostile than this. I'd expect no less from a team of that caliber.

Twisting my words a bit there Tan.

Truthfulness? (Honesty maybe?) Yes!

Political Correctness? By no means, no!

Call for manners everytime someone uses a derogatory term? Never said that and therefore, no!

What I was saying was that saying something to the effect of "That thing sucks!" does nothing to further the discussion. I called for people to offer criticism, which is effective only when backed by reason and examples.

I said, "vicious, ungrounded attacks with no resulting construct as a product of those attacks does not provide a means for conversation, much less an environment that would encourage a creator to join such a discussion."

You also said...

> O&M are big boys -- they should be able to handle themselves in critical environments far more hostile than this.

My point was not that we should lighten up on them, it's that they are big boys -- and girls -- and they probably would participate if the discussion were more professional in tone. Being big means you have bigger fish to fry than answer a barrage of insults from those who know nothing about the brief they had to work under.

Your comments that continued the post were an excellent example of what I am talking about.

To which Greg aptly asked,

> isn't comparing it to prior olympic logos kind of a mismatch? Shouldn't you be comparing it to prior olympic bidding committee's logos?

To which you replied,

> Yes, the NYC is only a bid -- but does that mean design expectations should be lessened or more informal?


I think if you look at these marks used in bids...

Dammit jonSel! I worked on writing and putting this together this afternoon only to come back tonight to see you beat me to it! Well, I am borrowing your image and adding a a few of extra I found interesting on that site.

As I was saying...

I think if you look at these marks used in bids (click the image to see the corresponding marks for the Games) you will see they all have a bit of informality (compared to the resulting marks for the Games) to them and quite a few are less inspiring than the NYC 2012 mark.

Therefore, Greg is right in questioning the level playing field in comparing the bid marks to the actual Games marks. They are completely different marks intended for completely different purposes. The bid marks are part of a huge package that must appeal to the IOC to get the games. The mark for the actual Games is part of an even larger package that must appeal to the whole world.

The rules they have to follow in creating the games marks are more complex than you can imagine. The standards manuals (there were 2) for SLOC rivaled the Oxford-Cambridge unabridged dictionary (well it seemed like it).

Further compare the NYC 2012 bid mark to the other 8 bid cities. (Could not find Havana's)

Also go here to see other 2012 bid marks including NYC's first two -- for the US bid -- and marks for the other cities who did not make the IOC's cut.

You can complain about NYC all you want, but some of those should have never seen the light of day!

On Apr.09.2004 at 01:45 AM
Greg’s comment is:

I was going to post something really similar to what Brady posted (in regard to my comment). Since he said it pretty well, I'll just add my usual "the logo isn't the final step, the final step is the reaction to the logo" comment and leave it at that.

I'm really starting to be a big fan of the Leipzig mark. Even considering the competition (Moscow, Paris, London, NY, SF,etc.), I think the Leipzig Olympics could really be cool.

On Apr.09.2004 at 10:24 AM
Tan’s comment is:

>Twisting my words a bit there Tan.

Didn't really mean to, Brady -- so I'm glad you clarified. Agreed on all points then.

Ok, you guys have convinced me to cut them a little slack. Most of those other bid logos are just God-awful. Hamburg's not bad, and in some ways, I also like Houston's. But the rest are just embarrassing.

But eventhough the bar has been lowered, I'm still not loving the BIG logo for its cliché-ness. Plus, Scher's solution is much better and should have won.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

On Apr.09.2004 at 11:18 AM
JLee’s comment is:

I'm really starting to be a big fan of the Leipzig mark.

Ahhh yes... the magic power of the Blue Square can not be resisted.

I'm with you Greg. I love that lightning bolt/torch flame mark! Very fresh and vibrant.

On Apr.09.2004 at 11:38 AM
JonSel’s comment is:

Dammit jonSel!

Sorry Brady! I'm glad you added your considerable comments as well as some more marks. There are indeed some very conservative and bad marks among the group. I'm impressed with the leap that Nagano made. It is one of my favorite recent logos. Leipzig's mark captures an intense amount of energy and vigor and the elevates the torch cliche.

I agree the audiences differ for bids vs. the actual games. The bids are targeted to the IOC and local civic leaders that need to donate an incredible amount of time and money to give credibility and legitimacy to a bid. The games logo embodies the entire global enterprise and must be a retail powerhouse as well as an embodiment of the dignified Olympic ideas (swifter, higher, stronger). The bid logo fades from view within a few years. The games logo lives in perpetuity.

On Apr.09.2004 at 12:06 PM
marian’s comment is:

Scher's solution is much better and should have won.

I can't say I agree with you Tan. I find it overly complicated (coming form me, that's a laugh). I find them both overly complicated, actually, but Scher's is just mind boggling. They both seem to be trying to represent too much, like it's "draw me a picture of the olympics in NY."

What ever happened to simplicity in logos? I maintain that the Liberty torch doubling as the olympic torch would have be sufficiently iconic to do the job, and would have had the added benefit of "Oh I get it."

We get similar requests for logos on the West Coast all the time: people want trees + mountains + water + people + city ... i.e. "draw me a picture of the west coast for our logo." *Sigh*

On Apr.09.2004 at 08:28 PM
Tan’s comment is:

>I maintain that the Liberty torch doubling as the olympic torch would have be sufficiently iconic to do the job

I do agree w/ you, Scher's solution isn't amazing -- but it has more depth of concept than BIG's. Plus, its execution strives for more. If you look past the execution and style, which has more concept and significance?

I don't love either one, but I said that I preferred Scher's more because I thought it was more successful -- conceptually, that is.

The torch solution is interesting. The Olympic torch represents human competition and ideals -- Liberty's torch exists to "Enlighten the World". Both are based on Greek origins and mythologies. Could've been interesting.

Oh, this is all for nothing anyway. There's no way the IOC will bring the Olympics to NYC. Traffic alone would cripple the games, nevermind the security issues. Seattle made an attempt a few years back -- and traffic/transportation was the thing that killed it for us. And if we had problems, I can't even imagine NY's.

I say Las Vegas should put in a bid. Lots of hotel rooms, easy to get around, plenty of hookers for the IOC execs.

On Apr.10.2004 at 07:08 PM
Bradley’s comment is:

Just saw this stuff. All of those logos were ghastly.

On Apr.10.2004 at 07:56 PM
sock’s comment is:

interesting armchairing.

brady, youre insane. tan, shut up (in my best o'lielly voice} selikof, wheres your backbone. youre worse than o'lielly claims Kerry to be.

BIG's logo needs some style pep, yes, but it has the gas (concept) to go the distance. I had seen the rest of the work they presented and it was quite amazing (not kissing ass here, it was).

as i mentioned, the logo has the capability (in my mind) to express more through style variation. and those variations will probably be branded on the cows that will no doubt rear their ugly ceramic heads once again in central park.

its nice to see landor didnt get the job . isnt it? I'm confident BIG will indeed prove to be better...

On Apr.12.2004 at 01:25 AM
Tan’s comment is:

>tan, shut up (in my best o'lielly voice}

Suck my Schaedler, sockwell. (in my best D'Trump voice)

So fine, why don't you ask your boyfriends from BIG to post some of the other amazing options they presented.

Seriously -- I'd love to see it.

On Apr.12.2004 at 01:51 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Boys, boys, please. Some decorum.

> BIG's logo […] has the gas (concept) to go the distance.

But the concept has already been implemented and executed into the logo, so something got lost in translation.

After a few days of reading the discussion and looking at the logo I have to say that I still kinda like it, considering the circumstances of the project and the people who must have had to approve it, this is a pretty unconventional mark. It is far from being the best logo ever, but it is not the worst logo ever either.

On Apr.12.2004 at 08:42 AM
Brady’s comment is:

> brady, youre insane.

Mr. Sock,

(In my best Nicholson voice.)

"I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this."

- Randle Patrick McMurphy / One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


I must agree with Marian. While I am a huge fan of Paula, I'm not thrilled with her submission.

Let me clarify.

I love the concept that supports the mark. I like the attempt to create something illustrative and free -- rather than the expected, clean, graphic style.

The flaws I see in it are:

It seems she attempted to create a mark and system for the Games rather than a Bid. (With the multiple versions with the different sports and landmarks.)

The individual elements are a little too gestural and therefore it is hard to discern detail at smaller sizes; which is something the Nagano Games mark did very well.

In comparison to the BIG/OM mark, it does not embody an overt spirit of "Woohoo! We're NYC and we are the best!"

Of course, as a designer hell-bent on concept and subtlety, I don't particularly like that aspect of the BIG/OM mark, but it is answering the need for a bid mark to pump up the "can do spirit" of a bid city. In fact, I would not be surprised if that was in the brief.

Some of the other remaining Bid marks seem to be missing this as well. (At least the London attempt has the ribbon following the line of the Thames.)

It is of added interest to note that the samples we have seen of the Pentagram submission do not include any typographic treatments. Hmmm.

Again, I really like what Paula tried to bring to the table for discussion. In the end, I think BIG/OM's submission best answers the needs of the bid committee.

Now what would make this whole stew even spicier is if we could see Design Machine's, Doyle's, Landor's and Sagmeister's submissions.

On Apr.12.2004 at 09:55 AM
JLee’s comment is:

For what it's worth, HOW magazine has a little blurb on the NYC 2012 logo.

On Apr.12.2004 at 03:42 PM
josh’s comment is:

for those who is interested to take a pick at one of the design machine presentations here's the link:

Room: 45

Name: nyc

Pass: 2012

On Apr.15.2004 at 12:41 AM
Armin’s comment is:

My, thanks Josh for sharing.

I can see how BIG's would appeal much more to the committee, it says NY right away, whereas DM's are much more subtle and hidden — informed by New York rather than screaming New York. Formally, I love the first version, especially when it is paired with the olympic circles — the combination of your straight lines with the circles is very armonious. I also liked the stacked version, which looks like a building. And as a pattern it looks lovely.

The second version, I wasn't very fond of. It had a lot of energy (and when rotated, looked like a heart — a good thing!) but it may have been to "simple" for an Olympic bid… at least compared to what we've seen so far.

Great work Josh, thanks again for sharing.

On Apr.15.2004 at 08:54 AM
Sam’s comment is:

Why not just that photo of Gelman with his hands in the air, looking like he's getting mugged? That's my vote!

On Apr.15.2004 at 01:02 PM
josh’s comment is:

Gelman is pissed that I showed this out of context. Each direction (4 total) is a story. They don't include actual execution: just an idea. They all based on the New York vernacular and are not your usual 'graphic design' solutions. It includes body language and viewers' involvement. It is intentionally rough and undesigned to encourage interpretations and endless variations. To understand it better you'd have to see the entire presentation Gelman gave at the City Hall. Any of those ideas if implemented would bring Olympic design to a totally different level. But he dropped out of the race, saying that it's just a bid logo, not the final Olympic logo. And we were too busy with other stuff...

On Apr.15.2004 at 08:35 PM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

I thought Gelman's Greek exploratory was far better than Paula's- on sheer visual appeal alone. Its striking. Nice.

But it was Greek, not NYC.

The coffe cup thing is good, but too "insider".

I wasnt asked to participate, but had I been I'da shown this design (done years ago), knowing it would be the first to be killed... for breaking the Olympic brand propriety rules. Theyd say, "you didnt listen!" And I'd say exactly. Welcome to New York, bitch. Now make me sandwich.

Seriously, I think it still has merit. Enough to sell merchandise anyway... Anyone wanna kick me inna balls? Have at em der boss....

On Apr.15.2004 at 11:35 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Felix, actually, I have always thought that olympic ring/apple logo of yours is great. Now make me a sandwich bitch.

> But he dropped out of the race, saying that it's just a bid logo, not the final Olympic logo.

"Just" a bid logo? Sorry… don't mean to ignite any fires. I'll leave it at that.

On Apr.16.2004 at 08:20 AM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

> But he dropped out of the race, saying that it's just a bid logo, not the final Olympic logo

Yes, I agree, Gelman should be honored to be included in that process. Just a bid? Please. Well, then again, he does sit on the board of the ADC- the org in charge of choosing the firms who participated.

I'm sure it was politically motivated from the outset. Rick Boyko, former head of Ogilvy and Mather (and my old boss) was given the task of deciding who won the bid (along with 212 assoc). Of course, he chose Ogilvy. And guess what, Rick was asked to come back from retirement to work on NYC2012.

One hand shakes the other.

All that said, its still a good mark.

On Apr.16.2004 at 09:44 AM
Armin’s comment is:

From a design perspective, I don't think (or at least would like to think that) politics didn't have much to do with the result — of the logos we have seen, I believe the best for the job was picked.

On Apr.16.2004 at 10:00 AM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:


but, we havent seen sagmeister's, landor's, or doyle's... anyone have those? can we have a looksee...?

On Apr.16.2004 at 10:21 AM
mazzei’s comment is:

It's done so well it's horrible.

On Apr.20.2004 at 03:43 PM
Jamie sheehan’s comment is:

Logo: ICK

Update: double ICK.

On May.02.2004 at 10:19 PM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

Once again, Lady Liberty loans her gracious form to another logo effort:

http://www.nycomedyfestival.com/" target="_blank">The New York Comedy Festival

On May.02.2004 at 11:59 PM
Armin’s comment is:

No need for serious critique on that one: that sucks.

On May.03.2004 at 08:29 AM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

It does raise the question of when does the usage of "Liberty Enlightening the World" go from OK to hackneyed?

I first saw the NY Comedy Festival logo in the pages of Graphic Design USA. (bathroom reading/guilty pleasure) The rationale was a desire to "create a memorable image that conveyed a sense of gravity appropriate to a major NYC event but which also had a sense of humor. Use of the Statue of Liberty lent the weight demanded, but having her slouch, as though in the middle of a monologue, gave it the wink the client asked for."

The original statue overflows with forced symbolism. To further appropriate it seems like an easy out for a designer -- a point made clear when you see it done badly like in the NY Comedy Festival logo.

On May.03.2004 at 12:22 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

I spotted these the other day in the city. I like them.

On Jun.06.2004 at 10:22 PM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

ditto. wisth they were larger though. theres a 120 foot micheal scwab AcelaAmtrak that is a definate panty wetter. God bless large medium.

wonder if this style will animate well?

On Jun.07.2004 at 09:18 AM
JonSel’s comment is:

wish they were larger though

If this is in reference to my pictures...I can email you the full-size shots. I realize that it's almost impossible to tell that the graphic athlete is a single-color large-dot halftone. I can post some detail shots if anyone wants. I imagine these would animate really well on a low-res scoreboard.

As for actual larger versions, I did see a few construction barriers with posters wheatpasted around the city. I didn't have my camera at the time, but they made a very striking visual.

On Jun.07.2004 at 09:30 AM
Paul’s comment is:

I usually avoid these "like it—don't like it" things, but I really like those a lot! They strike me as extremely well-connected to the visual environment of Manhattan: juxtaposed scales, textures, visible traces of process, movement...i wish i was looking at one in person, but that's mostly cuz i'd love to be in NYC right about now...

On Jun.07.2004 at 10:58 AM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

If this is in reference to my pictures...

nah.. talkin about the mini size posters.

small, skinny. must not be a budget... yet.

On Jun.07.2004 at 05:20 PM
dimshady’s comment is:

sockwell is the shit.

On Aug.16.2004 at 01:27 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Amazing how a little the can change the whole meaning of a word…

On Aug.16.2004 at 01:43 PM
Tan’s comment is:

You know, I was just about to marvel on the importance of that word myself, and sometimes how it's better left off of things...

On Aug.16.2004 at 01:48 PM
Hrant’s comment is:

No talk of Whitman as the official typeface? Even though Underconsideration also uses it? So is it "just the pitchurz, please" around here?


On Aug.18.2004 at 09:33 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Don't they use a sans Hrant? I haven't seen any applications with Whitman on it.

On Aug.18.2004 at 01:10 PM
Hrant’s comment is:

At TypeCon, Kent Lew told me that the NYC2012 bid committee took on Whitman. I hope they're using it, somewhere...


On Aug.18.2004 at 01:18 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Maybe to set all their documentation? The main NYC2012 site (which is pretty cool) is all sans all the time.

On Aug.18.2004 at 01:26 PM
Hrant’s comment is:

The site is nice. But the blurry small type (especially the mess in the languages bar) doesn't bother you? Time for Ultrafonts, habeebi.


On Aug.18.2004 at 01:33 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> But the blurry small type (especially the mess in the languages bar) doesn't bother you?

Eh… I don't mind squinting.

On Aug.18.2004 at 01:37 PM
Christopher Simmons’s comment is:

This identity will be featured in Logo Lab, so you'll be able to get first hand answers to most of these comments and questions. Not that I want to spoil the fun of speculation...

On Dec.07.2004 at 03:12 PM
Mark’s comment is:

New york is not going to host the 2012 Olympics London is.

their logo is better too.

On Sep.30.2005 at 10:39 AM