Visual Culture

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Effort wrote an informative article the other day about the Olympics and logo development:

Everyone is familiar with the five-ring logo of the Olympics. For each venue of the Olympics Games, there is a site-specific logo. And each country that participates in the games has its own specific logo. For the 2008 Beijing Games, the United States Olympic Committee released a logo to licensors that raised some amount of concern as to its viability with consumers.

In June 2006, this concerned group asked Hybrid Design to create alternative designs that it could present to the USOC. In just four days, the San Francisco-based design team created all of the designs shown here, using metaphors that are common to China, the U.S. and any Olympics gathering. Brian Flynn, principal with Dora Drimalas of Hybrid, says that many of the metaphors-such as flames or eagles-are not exactly unexpected. And they weren’t exactly in love with every trial they presented.

“As much as we don’t like some of the sketches, you do need to present material that the client enjoys. If we had sent them a bunch of super-modern, wild-looking eagles that we liked, then the client would not have had anything,’ he says. ‘You have to be smart about these things: How can we use these metaphors in a smarter way than anyone has before? If we do have to show flames, then can they be used in a different fashion, say, as part of an eagle’s wings?’

The original USOC logo had a double meaning that the committee liked very much, so Hybrid designers worked hard to create designs with this same attribute. “The ideas had to be simple, with double or triple meanings without seeming pretentious, artsy, too forward, techno or motivated by any outside factor. We had to shoehorn classic Americana within a logo that could sit next to the Beijing Olympic logo,’ Flynn explains. In addition, a successful mark would easily “family in’ with previous USOC marks.

Although the group of licensors has been unable to convince the USOC to switch to one of the new designs at the time of this writing, we present Hybrid’s entire impressive package here for your consideration.

Click here to view the entire article and visual exploration by Hybrid Design.


posted by Oberholtzer Creative Staff at 6:01 am  


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