Olympic Torch wins Design of the Year

Barber Osberby’s London 2012 Olympic Torch has won the Design Museum’s Design of the Year prize for 2012. The Nokia Pure typeface by Dalton Maag won the Graphic Award while the Digital Award went to the Microsoft Kinect

Barber Osberby’s London 2012 Olympic Torch has won the Design Museum’s Design of the Year prize for 2012. The Nokia Pure typeface won the Graphic Award while the Digital Award went to the Microsoft Kinect

Deyan Sudjic Director of the Design Museum said of the winning entry “Nothing is harder to get right than designing for the Olympics. The lightness and simplicity of Barber Osgerby‘s London 2012 Olympic Torch does just that. The torch not only captures the spirit of London as Olympic host city but also demonstrates how design can celebrate traditional ideas in a modern way”.

The Torch was chosen by a jury comprising design writer and curator Henrietta Thompson, designer Hella Jongerious, property developer Sir George Iacobescu and Evgeny Lebedev, the proprietor of the Independent and London Evening Standard newspapers.

The Nokia Pure typeface (above) was developed by Dalton Maag with the phone company’s in-house designers (more on the project here). Speaking about it in a previous CR story, Dalton Maag’s Bruno Maag said “The design is all about functionality and purity of use,” he explains. “We have deliberately steered away from condensed proportions that necessitate large x-heights and dictate character shapes with a square appearance. Instead we focussed on more relaxed proportions that allow a softer appearance that benefit the the user’s reading experience, whether on screen or on paper. Every aspect and detail of the font’s design has been considered and weighed.”

“The spacing is kept generous to prevent characters merging together in the demanding environments of screen display and the fonts used on User Interfaces are fully hinted to always present the cleanest and purest pixel rendition of the characters.The first wave on language support, besides the Latin alphabet, will be Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, Devanagari and Thai. All of these scripts will have the guiding principles of Nokia Pure in common: functionality and purity. That the fonts are beautiful is a given. “

In addition to the Graphic Award, the other six category winners were:

Architecture Award: London 2012 Velodrome (above), Hopkins Architects.

The Fashion Award: Issey Miyake 132.5 collection.

The Digital Award: Kinect by Microsoft.

The Transport Award: the redesign of the Emergency Ambulance by Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and Vehicle Design Department, Royal College of Art.


The Furniture Category was won by RCA graduate Kihyun Kim for his balsa wood 1.3 Chair. Photo: Nicola Tree

See our previous post on the Designs of the Year show here. The exhibition is open until July 15. Details here.


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