Design & UX
By Jennifer Farley

Logo Brief: The London 2012 Education Logo

By Jennifer Farley

In 2009, London 2012 ran a competition inviting young designers the opportunity to create a special version of the London 2012 logo. Designers aged between 16 and 21 were eligible to enter an “infill” for the existing London Olympics logo which will sit alongside the official and Paralympics logos. The resulting logo will be known as the Education logo.

The winner of the competition was 18-year-old Reiss Evans, whose design was based on the idea of pencils and their use in education.

The idea came from thinking about how everyone uses pencils, right form the earliest age through to adulthood and your whole life. They represent school and education.

As well as seeing his logo used by schools and colleges in the UK, Reiss also got the opportunity to work for two weeks at FutureBrand, London 2012’s creative agency.

Official London Logo

The London 2012 logo was surrounded in controversy when it was first revealed in 2007. Created by Wolf Olins, the logo was hit with a storm of abuse due to its design and the cost nvolved. The brand (not just the logo) cost £400,000. The jagged emblem, made from the numbers 2 0 1 2, comes in pink, green, orange and blue and is loosely inspired by graffiti art.

British newspapers went on the rampage and needless to say comments on the blogs were not favorable. “To me it represents two drunks trying to help each other up off the ground – very British indeed.”

For the first time in Olympic logo history, the same logo will be used for the Olympic and Paralympics games. Plans have also been drawn up to create a different logo for grassroots projects backing the Games, and the new education logo is one example of this.

What do you think of the new 2012 Education logo? And dare I ask, the official logo?

  • It is a real disapointment and to think it cost £400,000 is sickening. This is quite probably a case of design by committee. the educational infill looks like a gaudy PowerPoint background. I sure hope the olympic games represent Britain and the Olympic spirit better than this logo.

    My final rant is that the logo has been deigned to allow for infill and changing corporate colours. This means that the main aim of the logo is marketing for companies and corporate sponsors. It should be about representing the Games not representing companies.

    Have you seen the Rio logo ( is far superior both in design and in capturing the Olympic spirit.

  • Good initiative. This is the best way to chose a logo.

  • Ray Howell

    Hi. I just have to say that the London 2012 scribble is probably the most badly designed logo that I personally have ever seen. It is almost as if a quick sketch was made on a napkin during a very liquid lunch where everyone was too incapable to make a decision but did so anyway and were too embarrassed afterwards to say, hey we were only joking. I hope the rest of the games organisation is better thoughtout than this fiasco. 

  • Dave

    Matt Pyke of Universal Everything was commissioned by Wolf Olins to create the London 2012 identity. Why don’t you ask him directly about the thinking behind it?

    What I do find funny is that the press couldn’t come up with anything better than trash like the London Eye as one of the rings, or the London skyline. Great, that’s what us Brits are about, clichéd garbage.

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