Even if you're not a sports fan, it's hard to not get caught up in Olympic fever, or at least it's hard to avoid seeing Olympic coverage. I enjoy watching some sports more than others, but my creative side has enjoyed this year's Olympics for another reason, the excellent visual design. The Olympic committee and many of the sponsor companies and broadcast companies of the world have adapted the Olympic emblem into their own design elements. It is great to know so many graphic artists were active in creatively incorporating the spirit of the Olympics.
The most obvious design element, is the Olympic rings emblem with its symbolic forms and color. It doesn't take an interpretation to see that the circles represent unity and the colors are representation of all the participating countries' flags. But this year in particular, NBC's London Olympic logo is a favorite logo of mine. This shield pulls your eye from top to bottom. Even with the heavier graphics and color concentration on top, the white space around the Olympic and NBC logo set off the multiple colors of these identities gracefully. The style of the clock tower, flag and shield are simple yet detailed; giving the feeling of a hero's shield and the distinction of this historical city. The serif font matches the old world feel of the tower, and coordinates well with the necessary san serif for NBC branding.
We've seen a glimpse of the many additional design elements that make up the Olympics during the taped and streamed coverage. The hard-edged 2012 logo has been able to be adapted into so many different Olympic environments from basketball courts to white water rafting courses. While I didn't originally care for the 2012 Olympic emblem, its ability to morph into each unique sporting environment has won me over. Each sport has a logo to represent it, and that logo has been worked into the environmental design of the stands and arenas.
So, while you're watching these exceptional athletes and admiring their Olympic accomplishments, observe the many details of the designs that have been developed to create the entire mood of the Olympic spirit for both the athletes as well as the observers both in London and abroad.