By Jennifer Farley

New Branding Revealed For Winter Olympics 2014

By Jennifer Farley

The official logo for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics was revealed last week. This is the first winter games to be held in Russia and it is the first Olympic logo to include an internet URL.


According to the official blurb on the brand,

The Sochi 2014 emblem maintains a dialogue between the past and the future. Fusing various dimensions of Russian culture, the brand can promote several images of our vibrant country:

  • A country rich in history, embarking on a successful future
  • A country open to opportunities and the passion to make dreams a reality
  • A country that is committed to equality and celebrates diversity.

During the initial bidding process, every city provides a logo which is sometimes changed by the winning city. You can see the original bid logo below. Should they have stuck with this one rather than replace it with the new official logo?


The new official typographic logo has been designed to appear as a reflection of the word Sochi on top with the year underneath. The city of Sochi sits at the meeting point of the sea and the mountains and this was part of the reasoning behind the design. The sea acting as a mirror to reflect the mountains. The logo was designed by Interbrand and an Expert Brand Council established by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee.


I’m not sure if the new official logo almost seems like a relief after the London 2012 logo which got a universal kicking when it was revealed a few years ago. I like the reflected typography on the left hand side but it seems a bit busy on the right hand side.

Brand Republic have an excellent in-depth article on the new logo as well as reviews and discussion of the logo by a number of London design agencies.

What do you think about the official logo? Is there a need to have a url in the logo?

  • XLCowBoy

    Ugh. Both don’t pass. The original one looks dated, and the final one is a weak attempt at being modern.

  • mangoloid

    It’s an improvement on the new AOL logo anyway! Oops, I mean Aol. .

  • George

    I was about to say that you forgot Sarajevo, but then was reminded that it’s in what was Yugoslavia. Russia’s never had a winter games? The Siberian motherland? If that isn’t odd, I don’t know what is.

  • Mal Curtis

    I really like the new logo, it’s very old school Russian while also being somewhat modern. It’s pretty much impossible to get a perfect logo that everyone would like – but what they’ve got is not a logo you would be ashamed of (unlike 2012…)

  • It’s a hell of a lot better than London 2012 logo.

  • just…b

    I like the new logo and also feel it incorporates “old school Russian” yet reflects a more current mode by integrating the url into it.

    And yes, the London 2012 logo really is quite a train-wreck! Yikes!!!

    No – you cannot please everyone.

  • lmao @mangoloid
    I think it looks better over the image with the mountains and water. When It stands alone, it’s not as impressive and the reflection is not quite visible when it stands alone. I also agree that the right hand side looks a little busy.

  • I think big design agencies are too busy with the ‘meaning’ (in the literary sense) these days. They’d better focus on the ‘look’ a little bit more from time to time. This might be harder though as it’s easier to back up your design with a bunch of well written explanations.

    * A country rich in history, embarking on a successful future
    * A country open to opportunities and the passion to make dreams a reality
    * A country that is committed to equality and celebrates diversity.

  • Ryan

    Simply unremarkable. At least the older logo concept was a bit more balanced, even if it is retro.

    What’s the difference though, between designing for designers, and designing for clients? Seems like the explanations they give are there to serve as qualifiers for dubious design practicies, but I might just be too critical as a designer.

    Clients are the ones that pay the Adobe bills :-)

  • Hmmm. Looking at it standing alone, I agree, it seems dated (especially the font choice) and not particularly attractive. But when you see it in context, i.e. on the site, it works much better. And kudos to the hosts for making the Paralympics an integral focus of the site and of the games, instead of a meaningless adjunct as previous sites and festivals often have.

  • Apparently the filter didn’t like my previous post (with a link to the site) so I’ll just note that the logo works much better in the context of the site: sochi2014 DOT ru .

    I hadn’t seen the London 2012 logo until just now. It is truly a train wreck of a design.

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