CR understands that, later today, the official typeface for the 2012 London Olympics will be announced. Among those being considered are a bespoke face, Gill Sans and Times, but the current favourite is thought to be Comic Sans.
A source at the Olympic Delivery Authority has revealed that a number of routes had been considered by the ODA’s committee, including commissioning a bespoke typeface but that this latter idea was rejected on grounds of cost. A quintessentially British typeface, such as Times or Gill Sans was also considered but the former was rejected due to its association with a particular media outlet that was not one of the Games’ founding media partners, the latter was also rejected due to what CR understands were “concerns over the private life of its creator”.
The committee, made up of Olympics stakeholder groups including community leaders, faith groups and sponsors’ representatives is thought to favour Comic Sans because it meets many of the benchmarks laid out for Olympic projects. “London 2012’s ambition is to create a Games for everyone, so what better than a typeface that is used by everyone? The committee felt that this particular font had a friendly, universal appeal that would ensure maximum buy-in across all stakeholder groups,” says our source. “Its form is inclusive yet consistent and has incredible flexibility to encourage access and participation. This font sums up what London 2012 is all about – an inclusive, welcoming and diverse Games that involves the whole country. It builds upon everything that the organising committee has said about reaching out and engaging young people, which is where our challenge is over the next three years.”
It was also felt that Comic Sans would be particularly suitable to work with the Olympics logo and that its use would represent considerable cost savings due to the fact that it is already installed on most computers. The committee also felt that Comic Sans would represent a more sustainable alternative over a serif face in that “it would need far less ink to print each letter without all those little feet at the bottom”.
We have had no official statement from the ODA to confirm the story at this time but expect news later today.
CR reader Sander Baumann has contacted us with what purports to be a leaked preview of the wayfinding system which may have been designed for the games