You might think that $840,000 would be a good price to pay for an upscale new home, or perhaps for a fleet of automobiles for your company. With over three-quarters of a million dollars, you could make some seriously valuable investments for your business. But tell us this: would you pay $843,182.15 Canadian for a new logo?
That’s the price tag attached to the new identity for the 2012 London Olympics. £400,000 was shelled out to branding studio Wolff Olins to create the new brand for London’s go at hosting the world’s longest-running multi-disciplinary athletics match.
With a look that is best described as “an inukshuk meets 1989,” the new brand is quite bold to so strongly evoke such a recently rejected design trend. Turquoise, pink, yellow and teal, screaming out from flamboyant lightning-bolt-like numbers is so uniquely late-eighties/early-nineties that it’s hard to envision its existence outside that time period itself. Fashion and design’s tendency to revive dead trends under the label of retro or vintage might mean that it’s time for the early 90s to become hip again — and the near-coolness of the brand’s intro page suggests that might be possible — but nonetheless, the bright, chunky stone-age logos are hard to imagine as anything more than just a little tacky. Or at least “ironic.”
Wolff Ollins (whose flashy website proudly perpetrates the “We’re Not Telling You What We Do” problem) apparently has the clout to ask clients to cough-up almost a million dollars for their branding services. While it might be in the Olympics budget to afford such a fee, we encourage business owners that a good logo need not force you to sell all your company’s assets in order to pay the invoice on time.
For some interesting views on justifying the price of the London 2012 logo, dive into this AskMetafilter discussion. And for well-informed, well-written commentary on new brands, there’s always the brilliant Brand New.