Along with Aicher’s work for Munich 72, another classic year for Olympic graphic design was Mexico 68, the logo for which was created by US designer Lance Wyman. His concept was radical – it hinted at Op Pop while embracing the vernacular visual culture of the host city – and, like London 2012, it was essentially a graphic stamp, rather than a traditional image with accompanying city name, rings and year. We asked Lance what he thought of the London 2012 work.
“The London 2012 logo has been presented with promising descriptive text but besides the date, I don’t think the logo itself attempts to reference anything of significance,” he says. “It has certainly aroused a lot of critical references, from grade school paper cuts to porno.
“My gut feeling though is to give the logo a chance, he continues. “It has a recognisable, brash character and might offer an open book of application possibilities that will keep it fresh into 2012.
“I remember, in the early stages of designing of the Mexico Olympic program, a Swiss journalist commented that the Mexico68 logo didn’t work because it wasn’t very legible. It really frightened me but I knew what we had in mind and stuck with it.”
It’s now one of the most famous Olympic logos ever designed. Will London 2012 follow suit if we give it time?