CR Blog

Wenlock & Mandeville: London's Olympic mascots

Digital, Graphic Design

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 19 May 2010, 19:21    Permalink    Comments (110)

After the design community's reaction to the London 2012 logo, the mascot was always going to be a difficult job. But UK agency Iris has just unveiled not one, but two characters for the Olympic and Paralympic Games: Wenlock and Mandeville. Both are clearly of the digital age. And we have to say, we think they look rather good...

Iris has seemingly thought hard about the fact that in 2012, the Olympics will be broadcast in unprecedented fashion and that, of course, means taking into account how the mascots can be used over various social media, websites, animations, YouTube and Twitter etc (yes, both Wenlock and Mandeville already have Twitter feeds).

The two characters are named after Much Wenlock in Shropshire, the village that hosted a precursor to the Olympics in the 19th century, and Stoke Mandeville hospital, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games. Each mascot also sports a yellow light atop its head, as a reference to London's black cabs, and the Olympic Rings get a nod via Wenlock's bracelets.

You can see more images of them both, here, at the London 2010 mascots page, which also has some early signs of how the pair will be rolled across the London 2012 merchandise.

Unveiled on BBC One's The One Show earlier this evening, Wenlock and Mandeville appeared as two shiny models in the studio. Both, it's claimed, were born from drops of steel from London's Olympic stadium.

The press generated so far has, however, largely used photographs of the more predictable mascot iterations of 'two people in giant suits' and these don't look half as impressive as the shinier, 21st century versions.

The duo also appear in a supporting animation written by Michael Morpurgo which can be viewed here (still shown, below).

In a segment on the new mascots – a design story on primetime BBC One! – the One Show also featured some designs from previous Games. Though I don't think Otl Aicher got a direct mention, at least his daschund, Waldi, got some well deserved airtime.

The question is, will Wenlock and Mandeville still appeal in another two years' time? CR believes that a certain James Jarvis was also in the running for the job at one stage, and we can only imagine what he would have been able to bring to the occasion. (James has also commented on the experience, below).

For now though, I think Iris' monocular characters have just the right balance of digital zeitgeist and cheeky playfulness about them.

Update: Iris has released some more information about the design of Wenlock and Mandeville on their website.

"Our brief was to create mascots that would excite and inspire young people and encourage them to get involved in sport. We wanted everyone, especially young people, to be able to take part, so we asked ourselves, ‘Why have one mascot when you can have millions?'" says Grant Hunter of Iris.

"To capture people's imagination you have to create something iconic – something unique – something as individual as you and me. We have created a flexible design that allows you to make the mascot your own, while celebrating what is great about Britain – our heritage, our culture and our creativity. They are inclusive, because they invite everyone to take part and get involved. They aren't ‘the' mascots – they are your mascots.

"The result is a world first – a multi dimensional, adaptable design for the digital age, which will allow you to customise the mascots online later in the year. And who knows what else, after all we're just at the start of the journey and the possibilities are endless."

And here are some notes on the design of each character:

 

110 Comments

Was waiting for this to be posted as most of the comments on the BBC website are inane; Yer, lets have a Lion or better still a spitfire or how about a walking talking big ben. Erm, how about No. Speaking as someone who really disliked the 2012 logo from the offset (A logo I have now found myself quite liking, especially when used digitally UE's installation was great) I quite like these mascots. A lot better than anything I can remember seeing, which isn't much as most mascots are so forgettable. I also like the story and the animation when the creatures are seen digitally. Those Giant suites where never going to look good, no matter what the design.
A
A
2010-05-19 20:02:01


Hmm... two slick, glossy, near-identical characters claiming to represent the nation... one blue, one yellow.... swear it reminds me of something...
Nick Asbury
2010-05-19 20:35:19


@Nick

In profile, Mandeville does have a touch of the DC about him. I think you may have hit on something here...
CR Mark Sinclair
2010-05-19 20:45:00


Just awful. They have about as much charm as Peter Mandelson.
Simon
2010-05-19 20:45:53


Agreed Nick - they both look pretty slippery, too.
Paul
2010-05-19 20:59:58


Wittiest comment I've read yet on these two characters Nick. Love it
Julie Oakley
2010-05-19 21:01:28


I always find Olympic mascots lame, campy + unnecessary, these are slightly better than those before.
I guess they're used for merchandising mostly.

However, they remind me of a 'one-eyed Mikey from Monsters Inc. wearing a Terminator suit' #mascots
gary holmes
2010-05-19 21:02:11


They look better when rendered in non-metallic surface (see http://www.ourlondon2012.com/mascots/pictures/union-flag-1/) but are pretty disappointing & kinda creepy...oooh I feel all warm and fuzzy about urm, two blobs of steel !?!
kathy Kavan
2010-05-19 21:22:52


I was indeed on one of LOCOG's many shortlists, I think they were down to five before I was booted off. I got the sense that they were afraid of a repeat of the negative feedback they received for the logo, and rather than choosing a winner because they thought it was good they were finding faults with the others and making a decision via a process of elimination. I also heard that after I made my animated film (sponsored by Nike) they were concerned that I could be seen as too much of a Nike-affiliated artist which could alienate Adidas, one of the key sponsors.

I feel these guys seem too clean, a bit lacking in warmth and character. Obviously, it's not a patch on what I was working on...
James Jarvis
2010-05-19 21:37:57


My first reaction is that I'm not-so-keen, they don't feel very British (don't worry, I'm not after a cliche bulldog, not at all). It seems that Iris thought it all through too much, considering the broadcast, media and digital side of it all, forgetting to give their characters a real heart and soul. The Olympics is not about media or digital technology, it's about sport, it's about being out and being active, people being together and enjoying world-class sport, heart and soul stuff.
Ben the Illustrator
2010-05-19 22:02:19


Great comment Nick.
Waldi's still my favourite Olympic mascot (from Munich '72). In fact I think that, thanks to Otl Aicher, Munich's entire visual identity leaves every other Olympics in the shade.
Johnny
2010-05-19 22:23:26


At least the comments on here are considered and constructive, with some very valid points being made. If you go on Twitter right now, it feels like it has been taken over by the Daily Mail, with the usual "I'm ashamed to be British" comments aplenty. It feels like 'the great unwashed' will never be happy with what our creative industry delivers. Whether the final result had been delivered by James Jarvis or even Aardman, it seems the general public would only be happy with a roaring lyon draped in a Union Jack...
Kieran
2010-05-19 22:41:36


I wish James Jarvis had got the gig.

These would look lame as vinyl figures.
Go Bernard
2010-05-19 22:47:04


A whole lot of nothing. I think this proves that Britain doesn't exactly have a mascot and is thin in cultural icons which are sufficiently packagable. The Russian Bear, The American Eagle, The Canadian Beaver, the British ... blob of liquid metal?

I wonder if they should have simply not used a mascot at all, if this is the result. I don't get it, and I don't think the kids will either.
Prescott Perez-Fox
2010-05-19 23:55:24


Oneofthese characters would be better than two. That is the flaw.
MimeArtist
2010-05-20 00:56:14


http://wp.me/pTA6r-r

Just want more people to know that the two mascots look a bit similar to the mascot of a Chinese site called sina.com.cn. The Sina's mascot also has one eye and I think it is inspired from a Chinese character called "to see". I posted a illustrative pic on my blog.
gre
2010-05-20 03:02:40


@ Nick
Love it
A
A
2010-05-20 04:17:38


There's something unsettling about them. I can't quite put my finger on it. They look too generic (heaven forbid) and soulless. Apart from the "taxi' light on the head and a couple of motifs spotted around where's the patriotism to the UK? Aren't these suppose to be the manifestation of OUR nation? They feel more Asian than British and with all those shards of colour bursting from behind (on the T-Shirts particularly) they feel like Pokémon!

Playful, yes. Cute, sickly. London 2012 mascots, unfortunately. Having said all that, if they do make figures with the Union Jack on I'll probably buy a pair.
Grumpy Monkey
2010-05-20 05:43:21


These two mascot figures are create for the child, the child will be each national future!
luo
2010-05-20 07:32:20


Put simply these things have no class. They would look fine on the back of a Weetabix packet, but as mascots for a world class sporting event...? James Jarvis' insights into the selection process are telling - the committee are more concerned about alienating a key sponsor than creating something interesting.

The nod to London cabs is bizarre - just makes me think of Warboys, bigotry and being charged £36 for a mile and a half of arrogant driving. But then like most I seldom go near the things, except when they are trying to knock me off my bike.
Alex
2010-05-20 08:58:46


My initial reaction was not liking them, and I'm still a bit undecided. However, I think they'll probably be quite similar to the logo, in that the initial reaction isn't very positive, but over time we will grow accustomed to them and (hopefully) even like them. My liking for the logo has come on leaps and bounds since the initial unveiling, especially when it is used in context and appropriately across a range of media. I think these characters will be the same.

Oh, and I DO like the union jack rendered one http://www.ourlondon2012.com/mascots/pictures/union-flag-1/ as pointed out by Kathy above.
Gary
2010-05-20 09:16:07


There's too much going on in them - all the desperate explanations just smack of design by committee.

The overall identity of the London Olympics has very little to do with London itself. The logo, the mascots are just too generic. It's a shame that there's no passion or conviction to make this something that reflects the host city.

James - I'm sure everyone would love to see your take on it as a comparison. Please post them if you're allowed to.
Simon
2010-05-20 09:21:37


I don't understand what relevance they have as an image serving as in iconic image.
They don't say anything to me, they just make me think of Leila in Futurama.
It just seems to have fallen into the non specific "thing" and are very generic.
I think it should say British when you look at it but in a modern not cliche way, surely thats a great brief and they could create something fantastic rather than verging on bland and soulless.
M Lang
2010-05-20 09:22:14


I've slept on it and woken up to a realisation... I'm 34! The mascots aren't aimed at me! They're for the kids, I have three nephews aged 2 - 8, one of which lives for sport, so I'm waiting for their verdict, they're the target. I think a lot of people (talking on twitter etc) have missed the point, these aren't vinyl toys for 20something cool kids, these are characters designed for a client to attract children to the event, make it fun, and the only proof of if they're good is if they meet the brief, if kids fall for them and throw their enthusiasm into the Olympics in two years time. I do feel there is a little lack of heart and soul, but maybe that's not what the kids want, maybe it isn't a Maurice Sendak book.

I won't be converted on the animation, I'm not a fan of it's look, I would have liked to see the approach of a more creative company like Aardman or Tiger Aspect.
Ben the Illustrator
2010-05-20 09:31:58


Why is everything so modern?
Fernando
2010-05-20 09:51:51


That's a good point, Ben. I think the opinions of the children in the focus groups counted for a lot. But I still think that treating the project as something creative and making the mascot the result of a person's creative vision rather than a focus group would make for a more substantial end product. For me personally, Mariscal's Cobi had a lot of impact when it came out, and that seemed a project completely that sat happily with his personal work.
James Jarvis
2010-05-20 10:36:43


My son and his friend are already running around our house pretending to be Wenlock and Mandeville.
So I would say they are a success.
Robert
2010-05-20 10:40:25


Sooooo busy. Too much meaningful elements. Too designey. And it's simply a design failure classic. i.e. they failed to come up with something simple. The good thing about them is at least they don't look like a cliched soft stuffed-toy made in China.
James
2010-05-20 10:45:56


The mascots may not be quintessentially British,
But the scornful negativity surrounding their unveiling definitely is... (just look at twitter today)
K
2010-05-20 10:53:35


They look to me like two characters who, after generations of sitting around watching sport on TV, have at last decided to give it a go, only to find they're hoplessly out of shape and their heads have turned into TV sets.
Roy
2010-05-20 10:54:15


kinda creepy really
dt
2010-05-20 11:03:18


Jedward for the digital age.
Mark
2010-05-20 11:05:38


Iris x Sony Ericsson Monster campaign re-skinned...
James
2010-05-20 11:24:34


Does anyone else think that the rendering on the animation looks really amateur?

I like the characters, but I just think they missed a trick by not getting one of the UK's great animation houses to produce the short film. Why not use someone like Aardman to produce it?
LC
2010-05-20 11:32:30


they look like PLANKTON from Spongebob Squarepants
matt carr
2010-05-20 11:35:33


Comment deleted by moderator
JR
2010-05-20 12:19:00


@ M Land

It's like Leila and Bender made 2 babies!
Sam
2010-05-20 12:38:44


How do you cuddle one?
tk
2010-05-20 13:09:00


i don't mind them really, certainly don't get all the daily mail style hatred that they are receiving.

I like the nod to British industrialism with the steel works (although i don't know if that's intended) and the 'creatures' being born from that.


I would have loved to have seen Aardman win it though, would have been very British and very awesome!
Thomas
2010-05-20 13:16:44


Reminds me of a one eyed trouser snake especially wenlock
MF
2010-05-20 13:22:57


Totally in love with them!
Mickey
2010-05-20 13:38:53


i don't mind dandelion and burdock. thought the 3D was a bit rubbish, however the men in suits were.... disappointingly scrofulous.
david janes
2010-05-20 14:02:08


Absolute bloody rubbish. They say NOTHING about the UK, nor London itself.



People get paid for this work. Sheeesh!
Dave
2010-05-20 14:28:00


They have taxi headlights on their foreheads? I thought this was a joke. It isn't. It's weird.

They have the potential to be cute. I'm 50/50. The shape of their eyes makes one look cross, and the other look puzzled. Is it meant to be focused and determined? Also I don't see how this sits with our olympics logo. The mascots are shiney and complex, while the logo is basic and flat in colour. Consistency much? At least there isn't anything glaringly obvious to read into what the mascots look like, unlike said logo.

James Jarvis! Jon Burgerman! Mr Jago! A bit of personality would have been excellent. They wouldn't have used metalic.
Abi Renshaw
2010-05-20 14:47:01


I don't understand all the vitriol.

While not perfect, I think that adds to their humanity. I think they're adorable and imagine kids will like them as well. I think the designers did a good job making them easy to relate to. They remind me of Pixar characters - just about all of which are amazingly popular.

Truth in advertising, I'm American, so these characters feel refreshing - not like the stodgy stereotypes of Great Britain, and thankfully not the GB version of Sam the Olympic (American) Eagle. Nods to the host country are good, but plastering a national identity over the Olympic Games seems tacky.

I think developing a story behind these characters really helps people invest in them instead of having them show up without background and still expect people to care about them.
Kelly
2010-05-20 15:45:01


AHHHHH One eye'd monsters
Me
2010-05-20 16:04:55


Was alarmed to hear Stephen Bailey on Radio 5 this morning berating this project in the style of a Daily Mail knee-jerk journo. You would have thought he may have at least stuck up for the design industry he is supposed to speak for.

Like some of the other commentators, I'll be reserving judgement until I see how my children respond to them. THAT'S WHO THEY'RE FOR PEOPLE. I have a feeling that they'll be instantly drawn to them, but it's not always a given. The proliferation of 3D childrens characters means there's a lot of competition for their attention span. The one's with good narratives, voices and ideas usually win out. I'm personally impressed and thankful they had so many hands on the including a respected author, and that they aren't predictable or in any way 'British' – it's a global event and that means they need to be understood and liked by children the world over.
Emlyn
2010-05-20 16:21:48


I'm in agreement with those who have said none of us are really the target audience for these. They said on the BBC last night that all the adults that had emailed in hated them, but those with kids said their kids had loved them, even those with 12 year olds who think everything in the whole world is desperately uncool.

If that's the case, they work, I think. I may not like them personally, but that's not the point. No doubt if they'd been the sort of stuff we'd all have praised for great design all our 12 year olds would have been slagging them off on their message boards...
Laura Barnard
2010-05-20 17:04:56


I think all the criticism the mascots have received is a tad unjust.

They may not be to everyone's liking but at least they are original. I feel they may just be an acquired taste and over time the Nation will come to love them! I heard some of the other designs lacked the creativity of these such as Big Ben Personified. These mascots certainly don't fall under the cliché category!
Wenlock and Mandeville
2010-05-20 17:10:55


Reminds me of these—
http://tiny.cc/6gemz
Sean
2010-05-20 18:15:52


Oh you have got to be kidding... And we wonder why designers get bad press.
Simon Watson
2010-05-20 23:02:26


The design community's patronising reaction to the British Public's instant and total condemnation of these ridiculous alien figures just shows how out of touch they are with most people. The British Public are paying for all of this directly or indirectly. I dread to think how much money was sucked out of their(our) pockets to pay for this load of rubbish. Oh well, so it goes on. I suppose it's nothing compared to the £12B hole the the games have cost us. Where is the money for amateur sport? Where is the support for the athletes? Gone buying foreign steel!
chrispychris
2010-05-21 00:03:36


Hahaha I do like your association there Sean.

But for me they're brilliant! Original and different to the norm, takes imagination to come up with characters other than a fluffy cuddley animals…

Great how they can be rendered with different skins too… Union Jack skin is great!
Todd Lopez
2010-05-21 01:41:17


Forget the mascots, has anyone seen their website... bloody horrible looking, what's with all the freakin' blue frames!? Looks like digital age c1990s!
Grumpy Monkey
2010-05-21 06:04:58


Considering it's designed with children in mind – who go absolutely freaking mental over these things: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2461/3926560904_098681a8ae.jpg – I can't see what the problem is. Has anyone actually asked them their opinion, as opposed to going off on one about how crap they supposedly are?

To be honest, some of the responses sound like people couldn't wait for the unveiling just so they could complain.
Doug Kerr
2010-05-21 10:02:36


I am loving them in a wrong controvertial kind of way. Everyone is being very emotional about them - so I guess they work. Let the kids be the judge of these mascots...
nat
2010-05-21 12:27:17


Not that bothered by them or about them to be honest. They are just ok. Think the taxi lights on their heads is a bit of a lame afterthought - sort of "hmmmmm - they don't say anything about the country or London" - "I know....."

Monster Inc meets Futurama?
ken Walker
2010-05-21 12:34:37


I still can't believe how shocking the entire branding and design of our olympic games is! It makes me so sad to look at that disgusting logo, and those lame mascots, because there is some beautiful design produced in Britain, and it's not being shown off what so ever. I think this is once again a result of un-creatives in the higher corporate positions, with the money and the power, who think anyone can design and they throw too many elements in the mix, and don't trust the designer to do their job!
Lauren
2010-05-21 12:38:18


ooooh! shiny I kinda like 'em :)
JD
2010-05-21 12:42:06


looks like character design by people who don't really understand character design resulting in a distinct lack of any personality

perfectly suitable for a bland corporate 2012 then

clearly should've gone with james jarvis

it sucks that corporate sponsorship rules everything...

rant done

bob
bob bob bob
2010-05-21 12:42:07


I really like the modern approach, I have a daughter who would love these characters, but for the adults, one in particular definately looks a bit phallic. Maybe it's just the angle of the image!!
julie Edge
2010-05-21 12:50:57


They're basically 'Go-Gos'. The kids will go nuts for them as there's already a massive market for them. Like it or not. They will sell bucket loads.
Joseph Bramall
2010-05-21 12:54:14


I think designers in general are too quick with a negative initial reaction. The Mascots have to be modern and dynamic for the age we live in - someone mentioned monsters inc. I don't see that as a negative comparison at all.

If you look at the Beijing 08 Mascots, one could say that they are stereotypical and obvious. They are if anything very 2 dimensional. Instead we have full on 3D characters that can evolve into any environment or scenario.

Surely these are aimed at kids across the world, not chin stroking creatives.

And to 'Dave' who said =
"Absolute bloody rubbish. They say NOTHING about the UK, nor London itself.
People get paid for this work. Sheeesh!"

In all honesty Dave, I'd love to see what kind of style, look and feel you think is 'UK', is the union Jack not a symbol of pride and heritage for our nation. Plus they should be encompassing all the elements of the sport involved in the olympics, not Black cabs, Big Ben & Fish & Chips. (Although they have subtlety included the London Taxi headlight for you)

However, I would love to know how much the cost was! like anything designers can only create within the constraints of the budget.

I don't think there is a case to complain - calm down people.
eject
2010-05-21 12:54:25


They remind me of the aliens from the simpsons.
Martin
2010-05-21 12:58:24


wait until the kids get hold of the customizable web versions. upload your photo albums or videos, the images / footage gets wrapped and rendered onto the mascots surface. send to all your friends on facebook. its not about visualizing them as toys or t-shirts... i'm surprised at how many people on here are failing to see the bigger picture.
rob
2010-05-21 13:07:23


Someone get KidRobot to produce some in Vinyl quickly... more muted colours, not metallic.. they would look hardcore. Love them, looking great... the photos of people dressed in the suits shouldn't have been launched with the PR.. they looked a bit dodgy with people dressed up in them... The PR peeps, should let people get used to them first and then save the human outfits for 2011/12... :)

What was the budget?
Lee
2010-05-21 13:09:19


Best mascots since Pique of the 86 world cup (everyone loved Pique! basic but so much character!)
Masses of thought have gone into their creation, and the pinocchio story is great!

The nation already love these chaps if my mum and my kids are anything to go by!

I agree with Doug, people were just waiting to rip them to pieces... not sure why?
Ol
2010-05-21 13:17:41


Holy double-take! They remind me of a drawing I made a couple of years ago - http://www.doodleblog.co.uk/index.php?showimage=733 - I can't believe it! Must write a stiff letter to Design Week regarding my prior art on the amorphous romper-suited cyclops look...
Simon Palmer
2010-05-21 13:47:00


kids love cheese strings

don't mean they're good for anyone
bob bob bob
2010-05-21 13:57:55


I'm having mixed feeling about this. In a way I don't like it.. because I don't find them to be "warm and fuzzy". Or is it because all the mascots in the past have been that way, so I guess that perception has made its mark in my mind. Secondly, they are made of metal. Is it because they wanted to signify the start of the industrial revolution which happened to be in england (birmingham if I remember correctly)? or you are trying to promote space age futurism? On the brighter side, I like them because.. honestly I have no clue or remember any of the mascots from the previous olympics. I am refraining myself to google that for hints. But 20 years down the line. I have absolutely no doubt that when I have a discussion about the london 2012 olympics, neither the logo nor mascots are going to slip my mind. Well, thats my opinion. Also I think kids nowadays dig this sort of stuff. I also have give credit to their designers for the excellent effort put into the aesthetics of the mascots. They are quite well detailed. When I first saw wenlock i was wondering what the hell is the pyramid and all seeing eye doing on his forehead :D clearly I was way of target. Good post. Excellent comments.. cheers.
Suhail Amar
2010-05-21 13:59:37


I've not read any of the other comments as I wanted to share my raw impressions.

Horrible, Ugly, unappealing.



For a start they're over-computerised (take away the chrome and how would they render in plain colour, or in B/W? - dull).



Definitely not cute (these are things I'd want to run away from, not cuddle). Scary even.



Portraying them in zippy energetic poses isn't sealing up the cracks in this. I get the impression the designers don't spend much time reading children's books, if they did they'd maybe understand what makes a character appealing, things that children appreciate intuitively.

What is it about Brits in ad agencies designing mascots, they always seem to miss the mark.



John (who draws lived for decades in Tokyo, now there's a culture that understands mascots)

John
2010-05-21 14:57:00


Winging Britain strikes again.

There is nothing this country likes more than to have a good moan about hating anything new, saying "it wasn't like this in my day" and “I don’t like change”.



And the design industry is even worse by adopting a “well, I wouldn’t have done it like that” attitude to this project and many like it.

Of course you wouldn’t have done it like that. You’re a free thinking, individual designer whose job it is to come up with something different every day. But what about a bit of support to the industry we work in, by praising high profile projects like this.



Surely it is up to us to enlighten the public on the merits of design and the thought that goes into it, whether you like the final design or not. At least you should be able to appreciate the work and effort that has gone into it and be able to understand if it has met the actual brief.

If we continue to stab each other in the back, don’t surprised when the public join in too.

Giles
2010-05-21 15:25:00


Winging Britain strikes again.
There is nothing this country likes more than to have a good moan about hating anything new, saying "it wasn't like this in my day" and “I don’t like change”.

And the design industry is even worse by adopting a “well, I wouldn’t have done it like that” attitude to this project and many like it.
Of course you wouldn’t have done it like that. You’re a free thinking, individual designer whose job it is to come up with something different every day. But what about a bit of support to the industry we work in, by praising high profile projects like this.

Surely it is up to us to enlighten the public on the merits of design and the thought that goes into it, whether you like the final design or not. At least you should be able to appreciate the work and effort that has gone into it and be able to understand if it has met the actual brief.
If we continue to stab each other in the back, don’t surprised when the public join in too.
Giles
2010-05-21 15:39:15


Fantastic work! Forward ever... backward never! I hope this is a lesson to all the redtop newspapers out there that think they need to be negative about everything to sell papers! Stay out of the sun and stop looking in the mirror people.


And for all the haters out there...what would you do?
Matthew Needham
2010-05-21 15:42:08


This is design by bureaucrat's.

I always though this country was a design leader in the design world and was so much better than Europe,
Apparently not looking at these two go go crazy bones.

I do hope the games are better than the two lame designs to come out of it so far, ie. the logo designed by clipart and these marketing blob's chosen by Seb Coe no doubt!
Michael
2010-05-21 16:00:37


Poor and uninspiring!

I understand that as an adult they're not aimed towards me, more towards the children, but is this really the best the design brains of the UK can come up with? The overcomplicated Wenlock and Mandeville seem to be based on Gogo characters, hardly ground braking!

I think they will go the same way of all Olympic mascots, unmemorable. Which is probably just as well.
Alec Butler
2010-05-21 16:31:57


I'm a 66 year old cartoon illustrator and I'm thinking had I had a chance to have a crack at this, I'd like to think I'd have taken the same tack with the same character design edge and considerations. These characters are going to work well - I look forward to some good animations! I reckon they'll please all the people!
Terry Christien
2010-05-21 16:56:59


I'm not convinced either, very uncharacteristic and unidentifiable apart from the massive 'Big Brother' eyeball lodged in its head, they're too amorphous - appears as if they have got rid of any identifiable/distinct features for fear of causing offense somehow.

Having 2 was a very bad idea also, reeks of indecision and not being able to find a unified stand alone motif. I would have liked to see James Jarvis do this as well, especially considering the merchandise that is going to be produced. It would have been nice someone with an actual affinity towards the appropriation of the motif/mascot in it's many forms, producing the designs for it. I actually like the logo too, I don' see how the logo and the mascot fit together to create a London Olympic cohesive visual identity? Big oversight in my opinion.

But most of all they just look lame.
JC / NV
2010-05-21 17:06:28


Oh dear, the 2012 image gets even worse!

Thanks for the reference to Aicher's Waldi (which doesn't look 38 years old). Now that WAS fun, it appealed to all ages, and raked in a pile of cash! (I was there at the time ... )

Is the olympics not about aspiring to excellence? Sadly whereas the 2012 logo is juvenile, the mascot is infantile.

Ian McL
Ian McLaren
2010-05-21 17:07:27


How can you trust anybody that thinks a slick manufactured CG can convert into a dodgy carnival costume
We will have to suffer them for ever and they will become loved as a result of overexposure
louis Higgins
2010-05-21 23:23:11


OMG.....
I can't believe this is happening....

http://www.haohaohuang.com/exhibit/illus/characterdrawings/
Harry
2010-05-22 10:28:57


They look like metallic penises
Wendle
2010-05-22 11:20:16


That the images don't suggest male or female, nor athlete vs. para-athlete is a good sign. No need to muddy the waters with Politically Correctness. The descriptions in the illustration notes, however, actually use the word "he". Oh dear... feathers, start your ruffle!
David Green
2010-05-22 15:32:38


On one hand we have Thomas Heatherwick doing the Seed Cathedral representing the UK, on the other these characters. Why can do get it so right sometimes and so amazingly, embarrassingly wrong other times.

We don't make anything anymore, our banks are failing, we don't do sport, we are supposed to be creative leaders, then this happens.
G Turner
2010-05-22 18:07:26


everyone is just waiting to complaint here...
i think they look nice, colours and gloss are well added.
they make the logo look better than what it is, which is a major thing
r.
2010-05-22 22:57:26


Yet another humiliation for LONDON (although I'm sure it will become BRITAIN after it decends into farce) after the logo, the cost so far etc. etc. Standing together are they an Olympic cruet set or were they made in the designers own image.( I have to keep this clean or it will never see light of day) As for Giles comments there was NO THOUGHT, NO DESIGN MERIT AND CERTAINLY NO EFFORT in this DISASTER!!!!!! No wonder the Canucks are gloating.
Gary
2010-05-23 11:35:09


LOGO = GRAFFITI

MASCOTS = 2xPENIS
Jon-Paul
2010-05-24 11:15:00


Wenlock looks like a parking meter. Names will get mixed up like ant and dec. Which one is which. Think humans like to form a bond with a face and neither have a face.
Moira
2010-05-24 11:40:08


Awesome evil alien looking world domination looking mascots, are we sure these were not meant to be for the China Olympics? Should have just had floating CCTV cams would have given the same meaning. THE ALL WATCHING ALL KNOWING EYE!
Patrick
2010-05-24 16:30:00


Hmm.. not sure I'm really digging these characters. What do they have to do with London or how did they even think of making them look like this? They do remind a little of the mascot for the Shanghai World Expo.
Adam
2010-05-24 22:51:37


Hi,

We are an industrial design studio from Barcelona TRIADISSENY. This is the mascot that we would have liked to offer to you, but unfortunately we couldn't. As you will see, in our web site: http://www.triadisseny.cat, it is the Cheshire Cat, we thought that it was a traditional English icon. We designed a mascot that went together with the Logo, this was our intention.

It is a pity but we couldn't register for the competition, in our opinion, the rules were intended for big companies, we tried to contact some companies but we didn't receive any response.

On the other hand, it seemed reasonable that the company to win the contest had to be English and, for us, compete would mean a great effort without much hope.

By the way, we designed the mascot of the 2008 International Expo, where the theme was the water.

Anyways, we want to show you what we have done and we hope you like it.
Jordana
2010-05-25 07:59:23


way too complex.... drop the rings, taxi light? maybe even the metallic effect

feels alittle too much like a carphone warehouse character

whether thats a good i am not sure ????
anthony shields
2010-05-25 11:52:02


A bit pear-shaped...
Susan
2010-05-25 12:59:20


The promo anime was also made in China, by a digital agency named "Crystal CG". Actually I'd rather see something created by a local firm. What a pity!
PhoeniX
2010-05-25 13:19:36


I think these characters are definitely a break from the normal animal type mascot used in sports. They have obviously been well thought out. At first glance they are cute but animated they seem to be successful in their goal of inspiring. Nice graphics, design, concept, animation, and implemenation.
Dwayne - graphic designer in Houston
2010-05-25 16:53:49


I think Mark Ritson has a point...
http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/opinion/why-does-the-london-2012-olympic-mascot-look-like-a-penis?/3013852.article
ohboywhatdidtheydo
2010-05-30 08:14:15


Character design quite a lot like this:

http://www.vimeo.com/5590733

the Cortez Brothers by tokyoplastic.

Its a great shame that Crystal CG don't seem to know anything about animation, rendering, pacing or storytelling.
Elle Jay
2010-06-30 15:21:12


Really weird guys. I don't know if I'm the only one who thinks they are from "Monster Corporation"
thesis
2010-07-19 14:50:53


yuck
rosie
2010-07-21 13:51:00


i like the mascots they di appeal to children and they are fun and creative!I think this mascot is way better than IZZY!
lucy
2010-12-06 19:01:44


I like the mascots!
CATHRINE
2010-12-06 19:04:45


At first glance they are cute but animated they seem to be successful in their goal of inspiring. Nice graphics, design, concept, animation, and implemenation.
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alicethomas
2011-04-11 07:01:35


I find the fact that they have just one eye each disturbing! I think they are really quite ugly. Why can't we have Paddington Bear or a Dragon (St. George and the Dragon) or King Arthur as mascots? I know they are trying to be Irish and Scottish etc but it's an Olympics Mascot, it's meant to be related to spirit and sport! I don't know if anyone will recognise them for anything sport-related or anything Britain-related. They are too modern and technological and they aren't even cute - for children to like. I thought the Beijing Olympics Mascot were ugly (except the cow for the Paraolympics, I thought that was sweet), the London ones are even worse! I don't understand how they represent either London or the Olympics. I feel very disappointed.
Joanna
2012-05-27 07:21:17


Their only expression seems to be one of mild anger. I can't relate to these guys, it looks like they have been created by a graphic designer instead of someone specializing in character design - I can think of dozens of artists currently working in the animation and games industry in the uk who could created much more expressive and likeable characters.
rocketboots
2012-07-23 23:09:49


These THINGS look like a horrible attempt at combining a thumb, an alien, a crab's claws, a bucket of chrome paint, and every conceivable sense of the word "tacky". These two are the disgraced excrement of human creativity that look like they belong on a crumpled piece of paper in a clogged toilet at a Japanese manga convention after the illustrator won last place and was subsequently charged and with heinous hate crimes against the art of drawing. They're creation and role as the mascot of the London Olympics might as well serve as a white flag signalling to the world that the UK has given up in attempting to be even an adequate host to such event. Or is it perhaps the Brit's attempt to render all opponents who come to the games immobile as a result of either ridiculed laughter or vomiting disgust?
gimlap@hotmail.com
2012-07-25 20:48:41


Its look like DAJAL symbolic, having one eye
Dee Rahman
2012-07-26 16:41:39


They are CCTV cameras. As such, they actually say a fair bit about life in London.
Doug
2012-07-28 19:19:30


After seeing the opening ceremony it makes me think that if you say their names fast it sounds very much like
"WE UNLOCK MAN DEVIL
anony
2012-07-28 23:53:17


Im I the only one who thinks if they did do a bulldog or something people would say it wasn't creative enough I think wedlock and mandeville are really good I love them shows that the uk are different :D
Joe
2012-07-31 16:11:09


Im I the only one who thinks if they did do a bulldog or something people would say it wasn't creative enough I think wedlock and mandeville are really good I love them shows that the uk are different :D
Joe
2012-07-31 16:28:14


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