Designers ‘do’ the Olympics posters
Should artists be designing the London Olympics posters? Are they ‘better’ than designers? The argument is a fairly spurious one, but having seen little in the way of high visibility graphic commissions for the 2012 Olympics, it’s interesting to see some of our big guns being invited to have a pop.
Above is Alan Kitching’s work. Below, in order, is work from Bibliotheque, Build, David Pearson, Jonathan Barnbrook and Morag Myerscough. You will see more on the Creative Review blog from where I lifted these images.
What do you think? Better than the artists’ efforts below? Does it matter?
Subjectively, I think there is another issue. We actually have a massive Olympics graphics campaign all around us in London, the official identity now rolling out. It should serve as a touchstone for the event’s spirit – getting our blood pumping and also acting as a kind of ‘souvenir’ – something one could take home as a visitor. So a great poster should be at the heart of this work. But I haven’t seen one – just some rather dull banners that have all the excitement of a local library identity scheme.
Here’s the cliché moment to trot out the great posters based on previous identities – Munich, Tokyo, L.A.
You will see that all of these only referenced the famous five rings – they stood on their own two feet, as part of the wider identities, were exciting and acted as great souvenirs. If the same could be said for the hanging banners all around Shoreditch then graphic designer nerds would be pinching them as fast as they were hung. So far there doesn’t seem to be any risk of that. I don’t think it’s about Artists Vs. Designers – more about an identity which has (in my opinion) not caught fire in its roll out.