Olympic countdown

I walked past the Olympic countdown clock in Trafalgar Square this morning:

Olympics countdown clock

It went up last night and it will count down the 500 days until the London Olympics begin next August. I walk across Trafalgar Square every weekday, so I’ll be able to keep a close eye on it and make sure nobody’s cheating.

Tickets for the various Olympic events also went on sale today. The process for buying them seems complicated, excluding and unfair, but I’m still going to try to get hold of some, which I suppose is what they’re counting on. If you have a monopoly on a hugely popular commodity, you can pretty much do what you like with it.

It’s disappointing that the ticket sales mechanism is so badly-designed, but not as disappointing as the design of that logo. Have another look at it:

London 2012 logo

I mean, what? It doesn’t even look like anything. It certainly doesn’t look like the numbers “2012”, unless you squint really hard. When it was first unveiled four years ago we were assured that we’d get used to it. Tessa Jowell, my MP and at that time the Olympics Minister, said:

“This is an iconic brand that sums up what London 2012 is all about – an inclusive, welcoming and diverse Games that involves the whole country.

“It takes our values to the world beyond our shores, acting both as an invitation and an inspiration.

“This is not just a marketing logo, but a symbol that will become familiar, instantly recognisable and associated with our Games in so many ways during the next five years.”

That’s clearly all bollocks, but what is especially bollocks is the part about it being “iconic”. When you use the word “iconic” to describe something that looks like this:

London 2012 logo

You pretty much defile its use to describe things that look like this:

Union flag

Or like this:

Penguin Classics covers

Or like this:

London Underground map

Still, at least the London 2012 website doesn’t look like this any more:

London2012.com 2007 design

I suppose that’s something.

2 thoughts on “Olympic countdown

  1. elsiem

    Oh no! That’s awful.

    When I worked at TfL we had an online countdown clock counting down to the start of the 2007 Tour de France, which started in London. It was only with about a week to go that we realised we had no idea what would happen when it reached 00:00. I like to think it would have started counting up.

Comments are closed.