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But What Would They Have Made Of This?

Posted by Patrick Burgoyne, 7 June 2007, 8:14    Permalink    Comments (5)

munich 72 logo

With the enormous barrel of nastines currently being dumped all over the London 2012 logo, we wondered what the reception might have been for some of its predecessors had they been released today. What comments, for example, might the Herr in the strasse have come out with when confronted with design's holiest of holies, the Munich 1972 logo?

"What's it got to do with sport? It doesn't even have the Olympic rings on it".

"If this is supposed to symbolise Germany, or Bavaria, or even Munich, it's a complete disaster. Why are we paying for this?"

"It looks like a doodle a child would do on a school book"

"I'm having difficulty seeing any relevance that the logo has to Munich, the Olympics, or Germany."

"Can we really trust the poster companies to get this the right way up?"

"At the risk of stating the obvious (although the logo designers may not have understood the point) the Olympics is about SPORT.
So, I would have hoped to have seen an elegant design that suggested athleticism, grace, movement, human endeavour and aspiration..."

"I could have knocked that thing up in five minutes"

"It looks like it has been made out of a kid's paper chain kit from the craft shop."

"It doesn't symbolise Munich, Bavaria, Germany, sport, or the Olympics"

"It doesn't even show the five colours of the Olympic Flag"

"They will need to publish an explanation alongside it, because nobody will know what it's meant to represent!"

"I am a designer and a logo like this would take me 30 seconds"

As you might have guessed by now, the above comments were actually all aimed at the 2012 logo and come from the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph websites. We just substituted the city/country. Plus ca change.

PS As we revealed here, the final 72 logo is not solely Otl Aicher's design. Aicher had wanted to use a radiating sun (which was later put to good use by the German lottery) but it was deemed impossible to copyright. His design was put out to competition, the winning entry, as judged by a panel including Aicher, being Coordt von Mannstein's (literal) twist on the original.


We'll never know how people would have reacted, but I guess the thing that set most people off was the fact that it was so ugly.

This sums it up:
2007-06-07 09:48:13

And what I was going to say is that the Munich logo isn't at all ugly.
2007-06-07 09:49:59

Brilliant! A very good point made.

I'm not saying much about the new symbol on purpose. I just have this notion that a year down the line we'll all be eating our words. Perhaps it's part of the strategy: release a logo that everyone's going to hate, knowing that over the next few years it's going to develop into something very special, resulting in some kind of national guilt trip that turns into a rally cry of support.

Or, of course, a year down the line we'll still think it's shit.
2007-06-07 09:51:41

Sorry but I think you've missed the point on this one. The strength of the Munich Olympic identity lies in the creation of a graphic system, not the logo itself (although I still think the spiral logo is far better than the 2012 scribble). In fact the spiral logo played quite a small part in the overall scheme. The identity came to life through the color palette, stripes, the use of rules, strict typographic grids, pictograms etc etc.

I can't see the implementation of the 2012 identity being able to make their logo look attractive, in any instance.
2007-06-12 17:42:39

Design will always get nasty comments...One do not expect the general public to understand or appreciate one designer's work... Yes most of the above comments could be deemed relevant to many other Olympics logos... But don't they have some genuine meanings ( the comments - not the logos)?
2012-07-16 14:19:40

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