Light up the 2012 Olympics

When is a torch, not a torch? Why when it’s the veritable Olympic Torch of course. Designers now have the chance to pitch designs for the London 2012 model, with the organisers set on making not just one but 8,000 of them

From the New York Times’ Passing the Torch timeline of Olympic Torches since 1936

When is a torch, not a torch? Why when it’s the veritable Olympic Torch of course. Designers now have the chance to pitch designs for the London 2012 model, with the organisers set on making not just one but 8,000 of them…

London 2012 is on the search for a team to design, engineer and manufacture the Olympic and Paralympic Torches for the forthcoming Games.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has partnered with the Design Council in inviting product and industrial designers to register with the CompeteFor website, the online portal that matches potential suppliers with Games-related business opportunities (and has, as we reported last year, met with some controversy, particularly in the design industry).

“At least 8,000 Olympic Torches will be required to enable Torchbearers to carry the Olympic Flame the length and breadth of the UK during the 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung,” runs the press release, laden perhaps a tad heavily with sponsorship lingo.

The Design Council is already assisting designers in registering their interest with background information and guidance on the process at designcouncil.org.uk/olympictorch. Interested engineering firms and manufacturers can also view details of the work involved on CompeteFor from 11 August 2010, while the deadline for completion of this first stage of the process is midnight on 22 August 2010.

If the recent evolution of rather sensual looking torch design doesn’t work for you (see top image), then maybe it’s time to get back to the good old days when, hey, a torch looked like a torch?

Check out the New York Times’ timeline of Olympic Torch design for some more examples going back to the 1936 Games. You wouldn’t mess with the Munich ’72 one now would you…

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