London 2012 Blocks Out the Olympics Logo The design of the logo for the 2012 Olympic Games is causing a fuss in Britain. The London organizing committee's newly unveiled design has met a storm of criticism. Rather than follow the traditional path of designs from recent host cities, the London organizers have gone for a jagged design described as powerful and modern.
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London 2012 Blocks Out the Olympics Logo

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London 2012 Blocks Out the Olympics Logo

London 2012 Blocks Out the Olympics Logo

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

REBECCA ROBERTS, host:

And I'm Rebecca Roberts.

The organizers of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London unveiled the logo for the event today. In past years, logos have usually depicted something of the host city. But the design for London games is anything but traditional.

And as NPR's Rob Gifford reports, it's been met with a chorus of disapproval across Britain.

ROB GIFFORD: The last time London hosted the Olympic Games in 1948, the logo pictured a discuss thrower in front of Big Ben. The new 2012 Olympic logo just unveiled has tapped much more into the Cool Britannia themes of the last decade - no men in bowler hats, no London landmarks. It draws more on the street graffiti seen on the walls of London: four jagged shapes depicting the numbers 2012 in a variety of bright colors.

The head of the London organizing committee is former Olympic gold medalist Coe.

Mr. SEBASTIAN COE (Organizing Committee Chairman, London 2012): We don't do bland. This is not a bland city. We're not - we won't going to come to you with a dull or dry corporate logo that will appear on a polo shirt, and we're all gardening in it in a years time. This is something that has got to live for the next five years and we believe this is - this will do exactly that.

GIFFORD: Perhaps inevitably, the design has stirred up a strong reaction in the British media. Some designers have come to its defense, calling it a logo for skateboarders in the MySpace generation. Others were less kind. The work of a painting chimp, ask the Daily Mail. A graffiti style splurge(ph) said the Sun. If this is the winning design, what on earth did the rejected ones look like? Asked one editorial.

Cyberspace were soon ablaze with petitions to have it changed. Branding consultant Marceau Nobilt(ph) said, he, for one, didn't get it.

Mr. MARCEAU NOBILT (Branding Consultant): It's meant to be about being dynamic, modern and flexible. It's fragmented. This is meant to be about being embracing and coming together. This looks like it's tearing apart. And also, it's very jagged. It's negative.

GIFFORD: Provocative and edgy it hoped to be, and so it has proved. Now, Londoners have five years to get used to it.

Rob Gifford, NPR News, London.

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