As a designer, I do a lot of looking through articles on design blogs and portals every day. In the past few weeks there has been a lot of hubbub in the design community regarding the Madrid 2020 Olympic bid logo. This hubbub for the most part is negative. Also–editor’s note–I am not a fan of it.
At first glance the logo looks similar in color and shape to the NBC logo. After a second look you think you’re looking at a bunch of flip-flops. A third glance and you think the designer thought the year was 20020. Finally, you have to ask yourself, “Why?”
However you look at it, there are some things going on in the logo that might make you think it’s not the right mark for an event like the Olympics. At the very least, you would think the Madrid Olympic committee would take a look at the public backlash surrounding the London 2012 Olympic Games, see how that logo has been universally trashed in the design community and strive to make something better. However, the Olympic committee made the common/fatal mistake of crowd-sourcing this logo (which is a whole other problem) and then hiring a third-party agency to modify the logo by committee (another problem).
In the past there have been many great Olympic logos, such as Salt Lake 2002, Mexico City 1968, Vancouver 2010 and Tokyo 1964 to name a few. But in the past decade or so (even the logo designed for Chicago when they made a run for the summer Olympics), quality logos for Olympic committees and selected cities has been very hit and miss. There could be a number of reason for this which could ignite many a discussion on the design process and the hiring of a trained professional, but I think it all boils down to holding true to the designer’s original intent in the design. Don’t bastardize a design by combining X, Y and Z from three different designs and add them together like you would so many transformer robots to create an even bigger transformer robot. Rarely does adding elements from three often different ideas make a good idea in the end. Best of luck to you Madrid if indeed this is what your logo will end up looking like.