Olympics ticket designs revealed

LOCOG has unveiled the ticket design s for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Designed by Futurebrand, the tickets incorporate Someone’s pictogram designs along with images of the venues

LOCOG has unveiled the ticket design s for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Designed by Futurebrand, the tickets incorporate Someone’s pictogram designs along with images of the venues

Each ticket features the relevant sport pictogram (see our story on the design of the pictograms here) with a specific colour scheme for each venue, as well as an image of the venue, to help spectators reach their destination. The tickets also incorporate a number of security measures –  a hologram, a barcode and the name of the booker. Supposedly, every ticket can be traced to the person who purchased it.

In this context, Someone’s pictograms actually work well and it’s interesting to see how the two styles – the silhouette version for high-visibility shown top left on the tickets and the ‘dynamic’ set – work together. The key information – date, time etc – is clear and easy to find and the use of the venue images and colour coding should help visitors navigate their way effectively (although a lot will depend on the wayfaring system). Interesting that the 2012 typeface has not been used for the information elements – not easy enough to read? (It was, as its designer Gareth Hague has pointed out on Twitter, meant for headline or ‘impact’ use not information graphics).

We’re starting to see more pieces of the Olympic jigsaw fall into place – will the final image confound or confirm expectations?



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  • Very clear and attractive! Sadly I won’t be a recipient of one of these.

  • Very interesting. Makes up for the poor logo.

  • As the brand has matured I can now see why this Olympics will be remembered… The tickets and all the brand for that matter are far more attractive than I thought It would have been 3 years ago. Bravo*****

  • I’m going to put my hands up and say that I’ve completely changed my mind, since the original launch I’ve grown to really like the original identity and enjoy seeing each new component as it emerges. These tickets really show the elements really coming together in an original and distinctive solution that suitably broke from a very tired Olympic aesthetic.

  • My apologies for the repition of ‘original’ and ‘really’, I hit the submit button a little early.

  • i like them and i actually like the logo… a small minority of freaks we are

  • brenda wynn teasdale

    love them.

  • Stef

    When the logo launched to such derision all those years ago, I felt like I was the only person who kept saying “just wait until we see things in application – a logo without context is meaningless”. Now we’re seeing things in application and seems that many nay-sayers are starting to eat their words, if comments above are anything to go by. These tickets look fabulous – I’m just pissed off that I won’t actually get one!

  • Liking these a lot.

  • The typography is totally sub-standard. Those crufty bits of stick-on graphic to signify time & date are in my opinion poorly executed. As for mixing the size of Futura on the same line, that’s really poor. Look at how bad the kerning is on that. All of the kerning is rubbish, and the tabbing on the columns doesn’t line up optically. Either make a tabular version of the font, or design a font for the purpose of information. TBH since the Olympics is basically made of tables of times etc, I’d have thought that doing an information font would have been part of the initial analysis? No?

  • Ray

    I’m with Richard. Over the past year I have become really fond of the entire suite of material. I love these tickets as well. The little extra details and pictograms really bring it together.

    As with other commentators, really gutted I wont be actually receiving one (or two) :(

  • I think it’s funny that I have to eat my own words as a ‘nay-sayer’, changing your mind and being open to persuasion is integral to becoming a good designer. I have no problem with doing a complete u-turn.

  • The real question is, is anybody gona actually see a pair?

  • Har

    It’s really original.

  • Dwayne Blee

    I love the pictograms on the tickets – definitely functional AND beautiful. The overall design is fun and helps bring all the brand elements together, as most agree above. I’m happy to see the 2012 font largely out of the design, though.

  • Nicely done overall, but some of those colour combos are not good – shame they didn’t go with all white pictograms on the large images – blue on red, orange on blue…

  • Garrett

    Spiky, nasty, horrid.

    So, it integrates well with the overall look.

  • Design about tickets is always a challenge = in order to get what needs to be there and for such event the security measures are so important. But is the code bar or hologram enough?

    Whatever people think – like or dislike, criticism is always easy when the product is finished.

    Minimalism is usually a winner.

    The ID of the Olympics 2012 based in the UK is giving something different and appealing and matches well with the architectural landscape of London: the Gerkhin, the Shard….etc

    I also have decide to post this article but for the french fans with a credit to CR – as usual.

    Thanks again for sharing.



  • Matt S

    Have to agree with dabishop here, the information typography looks like a bit of an afterthought to me. The choice of Futura seems a little lazy and not really in keeping with what is othwerwise a very successful execution of the (excellent) 2012 brand.

  • GZ

    Futura is a odd typeface, somewhat difficult to find a visual balance with it. As a headline or numerical typeface, especially in bold, its can be fantastic. Bold Futura is always a winner. But some letterforms are either too narrow or too wide. It forces you to work the kerning in almost any word or text. So, in my view, finding a modern replacement for Futura that compliments it would of been going a further step that would of made it look even nicer and modern.

    Graphically, the color usage is beautiful. I see the idea of where the energy used to perform each athletic activity is represented by a bold color stroke on each figure. Nice. Really nice.

    The small iconographic representations of the venues are also a great visual guide. Remember dodo-designers, we’re about guiding, making sense or clarifying information for the viewers of information. These look to me as if they successfully did the job, regardless of what you feel about Futura or laziness. We’re in the business of balancing artistic direction AND information clarity.

  • interesting post. Just awesome and this is very attention-grabbing.

  • They look good. I especially like how they incorporated the stadium icons on each ticket.

  • Tim

    For me, the potential of every element being owned and instantly recognisable was obvious from the outset.

    What a great, all encompasing brand.

  • Kapaling

    I Can’t believe Ms A N Other managed to get so many tickets, she must have mine as i didn’t get any!

  • designerphill

    I think we’re starting to see the whole brand concept coming together. I want the to like the Logo, as part of the overall theme it looks really nice and a strong concept however on its own I don’t think it works well, its as if they came up with the dynamic look of the marketing material first and the actual logo was a bit of an after thought. That aside these tickets are starting to get me excited! If I had known how nice they were going to be I might have made more of an effort to get hold of some.

    I cannot wait for the moving image aspects. I do own a few Olympics towel which are quite nice with the logo dominating the design however they were made in china not so good for the British industry

    it might be like Take That I hated them at the time but restrospectivley there not so bad!

  • There probably are some more fitting options than Futura and the alignment in parts is a bit uncomfortable, but all in all they’re tidy looking tickets and at least the clarity of information is there. Job well done!!!

  • neil whitehead

    How many languages are they in or just English? Still feel the design is very clunky and that typeface very unattractive. However, it is very memorable for being ugly! None of the design elements reflects the graceful movements that the human body makes in most athletic pursuits and is totally at odds with the curvy architecture of the stadia.

  • Nansi

    Oh god no.
    The characters are hurting my eyes. The characters just don’t match with the rest of the design. Maybe it would have worked better if the character were made like the background behind them or just even decreasing opacity might have helped. Or just created new characters.
    Rest of it is kind of okay. And im still not happy about the 2012 logo.
    A lot of money gone to waste. I hope the Olympics will at least be a success.

  • Cindy

    I like the backgrounds and general layout. Athlete figures needs work, they look like sad I’m only new to Illustrator attempts and I really do not like the font for “London 2012” – yuk!
    It almost looks like they have given different elements of the design to different people eg. you do background, and you over there do text, you on venue icons and you on the slow machine in the back corner do the main athlete illustrations. It doesn’t gel for me. I expected more.

  • Senilasong

    very nice!

  • I still dislike the logo, but the tichets when shown as a serie I like. Aspecially the colorrange is very attractive.

  • Lee

    Just to note for those of you who seem maybe unfamiliar with the 2012 brand. Futura is their supporting typeface to that headline one. It’s choice by WO was a little odd in my opinion. Surely a stereotypical British sans or a derivative of would have been better!?

    Nice to see our pictograms are being so heavily used in both the promotion (I’ve seen loads of taxi’s) and for their function too. It all seems to be coming together nicely I noticed the site has had a refresh. And some new colours have been added into the mix making the initial bold colour palette a little diluted.

    Can’t wait for mine to come in the post.

  • Just like the logo, these are a mess – the various elements are just thrown together, with little thought given to overall structure.

    I’ve always hated the logo (although I admire WO for trying to do something different to the usual twee tournament logos we see) but it just isn’t finished – especially the afterthought of the word ‘london’ – it’s as if WO went through the whole process without realising it had missed out the name of the host city!

    You should have included these in your ‘ugly’ issue!

  • Scott

    I’m not so keen on the spikey people, the cyclists looks like he’s held on with a paper clip? The fractured backgrounds are working really well though

  • Brooke Boyanton

    Logo blah… tickets HOORAY! I really like them and agree with GZ in regards to the great colour usage corresponding to the movement of the athletes.

  • its not up to standard
    i not like it

  • As a hater of the original logo when it was announced, I have to say I love the visuals here. Quite possibly a combination of the fact the logo has taken such a backseat and the boldness of the colours and graphics.

  • Reminds me of the work of Piet Zwart and his approach to designing space as a “field of tension”—which is quite fitting for an athletic event. The information is clear and the pictogram design is lovely.

  • Kian

    Truly stunning and worthy of an Olympic Games. It’s easy to pick apart a visual identity but what London 2012 set out to do at the bid stage was to modernise the Games and re-engage young people, not crusty old designers! Great work by the LOCOG brand team and agencies

  • I have to say it looks very bad. Don’t really like the pictograms nor the typography or the use of the gradients. Even the watermark Olympic 2012 looks very 80s. They should have used the original typeface and stuck to it. Even the logo doesn’t seem that bad now compared to the design.

    I don’t think these were their initial ideas for the ticket design they had in mind but more of the changes made by the backlash they received when the logo came out earlier.

    Sad. Public Backlash 1, Design 0.

  • Carolina

    Great Ticket design, poor logo design. Looks like a brother or son of one of the board members is a new designer…so sad, honestly I respect UK design style so much to receive this.

    For Kian (above): “Crusty” designers has the experience to keep a design consistent thru all the pieces, starting with the logo. Young people are great, young designers are arrogant. A bad logo is always a bad logo It doesn’t matter who designed it.

  • istván z. barra

    somehow are looking better than the main logo. Nice illustrations, but still to much stuff on it. It might be just a matter of taste but still much to complicated. The branding is ok, but how functional? The question is, how functional it should be? The whole approach is not very british at all to me… at least from a non Brit point of view. Corporate Identity vs. Corporate Image.

  • alison

    ;( no bueno

  • dave waller

    the tickets utilise strong graphic elements…you are actually powerless agains well crafted items like this.
    the array of colours make you want them all ,and personally wish i had stayed within this field as i disect
    things within the ticket images instantly.

    i call things like this promomatter.

    ive not posted or browsed much on this networking site ever.
    wicked post thanks for the words to drink my coffee by.

  • Very pleasant and functional, I really like the choice of colors, the references at the top that make it clear where to go and when.

  • Sharon LL

    I’m still not a fan of the London 2012 logo and stick by my first thoughts of it being clunky and not very well thought-out.

    The tickets, however, I believe have the wow factor. The designer has done a great job in marrying both form and function. Considering there needs to be a lot of content on them, they are bold, bright and memorable. I like the use of 2 colours on the illustrations and the eye-catching gradients. Great choice of typeface – job well done!

  • Only with nice colour, except that I can’t find UK in the design… compare to this, logo is not bad at all.

  • I love the pictograms for each sport but have always disliked the 2012 logo. I thought it might grow on me but nothing doing.

  • Kevin

    These are hideous, and that being said, they are inline with the rest of the system.

  • I was in two minds about the brand with my biggest concern being it would be difficult to implement across multiple mediums. However, I really like these! Shame the printing contract was not awarded to a UK company in these difficult economic times.

  • Earl

    I like the tickets, especially the dynamics of the color system — I just can’t get passed the logo, which remains, the most hideous failure of design in the 21st century. Lisa Simpson slobbing knob?

  • Clean, dynamic design. Overall the London 2012 branding is building very consistently. I still can’t feel the love for the logo though. However, the design agency that did the rest should be exceptionally proud.

  • I personally thought the designs from the olympics this year were much better.