Friday, November 10, 2006

Chicago 2016 Olympics Logo/Icon Thoughts.

A Chicago Global Sports Icon.

I've been asked by multiple business and social acquaintances my thoughts on the recently unveiled Chicago 2016 Olympics logo. Having developed over 30 global sports logos and event branding campaigns for the NBA, I was curious to see what the city was offering up and on October 12th, our beloved Mayor Daley unveiled the new logo at the Pritzer Pavilion at Millennium Park.

I had a sense of anticipation and pride for what our city would be using as the center point for all visual communications and merchandise for the Games (if we are fortunate enough to land them). I am a big fan of the work that the design firm, VSA Partners does here in Chicago and so the expectations were very high.

When I saw the logo for the first time, it did not resonate with me. And as time has gone on and I've studied it further, I am officially disappointed.

Here's my critique starting with overview of the logo from VSA Partners web site:

"The flame, in the shape of Chicagos' skyline, reflects the international significance of Chicago architecture and speaks to the vitality of a city that rose from the ashes. The body of the torch merges a color palette that represents the blue of Lake Michigan with the vibrant green of the city's park system -- further underscoring Chicago's commitment to the environment and sustainability. Together, these visual elements evoke the spirit of the Olympic Games and its values. It also evokes Chicago's Games concept, to host compact Games celebrated in the center of the city, along the Lake Front and in the city's parks."

Okay, got it. Sounds like solid justification for the development of the mark.

My thoughts-

1. Too tall. Not broadcast friendly. At all. By 2016, when most of the broadcast formats will be HDTV 16 x 9, the logo will need to be cut and sliced to fit the tube.

2. Colors. Not necessarily merchandise friendly. You will not catch me wearing patina and orange together? And unless you're Carmin Miranda, you probably will not either.

Chicago has a great city flag (see below) and it is a great sense of civic pride so why not feature one of both of thosecolors in the icon? Not sure why not either?

3. The color gradation. Very hard to reproduce over the vast array of applications.

4. Torch. Was hoping to see something more original than another torch.

5. The Great Chicago Fire.

... a city that rose from the ashes...

Well yeah, but Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over that lantern 145 years to the year of the '16 Olympics...come on Chicago, let's get over it already.

6. Finally, yes it does it look like the Sears Tower is sitting on a golf tee. Sorry.

Those are my thoughts.

Hopefully, once and if Chicago gets awarded the Games a more open design competition will be incorporated so Chicago has an icon it can truly be proud to call its' own.



Mayer said...

The broblem with the TV's in 2016 doesn't apply to this logo, cuz if chicago wins the games, the organizing committee will be required to have a new logo.
I am also dissapointed that the stars from the flag we're not incorperated into the logo.
The application that I am most concerned about the logo not being able to be reproduced for is pins.

Anonymous said...

Mayer is correct. This is the bid logo. Another example of a bid logo was the five "A"s in a circle that formed a star that Atlanta used as its bid logo.