Are there fads in graphic design? Well, duh! Check out these eras of Olympics poster design.
1. 1912-1924: the homoerotic era
2. 1968-1980: the geometric era
3. 1996-2004: the era of bright, saturated colors
Which brings us to the present. Are we seeing a trend to patches of irregular shapes?
The Beijing poster is okay, but it’s hard for me to imagine any graphic designer wanting to follow in the footsteps of of Wolff Ollins, who designed the London logo. And yet, the design has its champions:
- London 2012 organising committee chairman Seb Coe: “This is the vision at the very heart of our brand…. It will “act as a reminder of our promise to use the Olympic spirit to inspire everyone and reach out to young people around the world…. It’s not a logo, it’s a brand that will take us forward for the next five years”
- International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge:: “This is a truly innovative brand logo that graphically captures the essence of the London 2012 Olympic Games – namely to inspire young people around the world through sport and the Olympic values.”
- Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell: “This is an iconic brand that sums up what London 2012 is all about – an inclusive, welcoming and diverse Games that involves the whole country.”
- Former Prime Minister Tony Blair: “When people see the new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life.”
So there you go. What “young people around the world” want is random jaggy magenta crap. Because that’s inspiring. And because, after all, it’s not a logo, it’s a brand.
Update, 21 August: Subtraction on Graphic Design at the Games