Speaking about Olympic logos (oh yes we where), and even though the Vancouver Winter Olympics are just getting underway, this is probably a good time to take a look at the logo design for the 2014 Winter Olympics, to be held in Sochi, Russia. Unveiled just before Christmas, the logo is a fairly radical departure from the traditional Olympic Games imagery, featuring a text only design, rather than the more orthodox iconic treatment of most. A co-project between Interbrand and Sochi’s own design team, the logo is the first Olympic brand art to feature a web address, signaling the IOC‘s embrace of social media and the internet, as well as an attempt to reach a younger, web-saavy generation. A nice touch of this design is the reflective aspect of the 2014 type, mirroring the Sochi typography and symbolizing the city’s proximity to the Black Sea.
At least it’s not 2012
As with most Olympic roll-outs, reaction has been mixed, with some digging the new direction and others pining for a more traditional approach. Others aren’t terribly fussed one way or another, but are thankful that “at least it’s not 2012″, referring to the heavily criticized rollout of the 2012 London Olympics logo a few years ago, when that design came under fire from designers, the general public and journalists the world over.
A logo design as part of ‘the big picture’
Personally, I like it, especially when viewed in context of the larger branding picture, something often overlooked in the early development stages of a logo. Obviously, this new direction was carefully thought out. I’ve included one of the rejected designs (above left), a wonderful icon in its own right and certainly a more traditional Olympic logo approach. If I had to decide in a vacuum, I’d probably go with the iconic treatment, but once viewed in a larger context, the simple typography treatment becomes a very strong choice.