Posts Tagged ‘London Olympics’

London 2012 Olympic Trail

July 2, 2012

An inspiring title sequence by the BBC promoting the upcoming Olympic Games coverage:

Showing that wherever you are in the UK, the Olympics are literally at your doorstep. As the torch continues to tour the nation and the countdown to the games drawing ever closer, you can’t help but be swept away by the pride of Britain. Although many Londoners are yet to be convinced (judging by the complaints of commuters), when the city is transformed into Olympic colours and the torch passes through the London boroughs, I’m sure one can’t help but feel excited about hosting the biggest sporting event in the world.

I’ve been very lucky to be part of the London Ambassadors and Olympic Games Maker, working at the Olympic Stadium helping out with rehearsals. The sheer dedication of the 10,000+ cast and crew to produce the opening ceremony is incredible, to think that this will be the most televised programme in the world is slightly daunting! Again, people may be questioning the themes and plans of director Danny Boyle’s vision for the opening ceremony, but watching this all unfold; trust this man’s instinct. The UK newspapers may have illegally accessed aerial photographs of the stadium rehearsals and props (making incorrect assumptions of what may happen), but there are so many surprises kept under cover, this will truly be a spectacle that makes you proud to be british.


London 2012: Olympic & Paralympic Posters

November 7, 2011

Last Friday saw the unveiling of the official posters for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Game. It is the first time since 1972 that artists have created the posters, with a definite emphasis on showcasing London’s cultural olympiad rather than just the home nation. This makes a controversial topic as to whether the public and watchers worldwide will appreciate the individualism of such eminent Brit Art as opposed to the sleek, coherent graphic posters we are used to seeing.

One piece in particular that has divided the critics is Howard Hodgkin’s Swimming poster. Some applaud how he has captured the fluidity and movement of water and “the sensation of swimming”, others remark that it’s just ‘a blue splodge and a squiggle’. I feel it is very emphatic; the boldness of his brushstrokes links with the heightened adrenaline of the swimmer, power exudes from the deepness of the blue, motion aplenty shown by the differential tones and mark making (what lovely “squiggles”). If this is merely a reminder of a pre-schooler smudging paint on sugar paper then let your 5-year old nephew have a go.

Howard Hodgkin - Swimming - Olympics Poster


Fiona Banner’s Superhuman Nude poster uses verbal descriptions to define her subject, in this case a Paralympic cyclist. Yes she uses not-so-family friendly words within her prose poem but her application of typographical treatment gives Banner’s description intensity and impact. Without using imagery, Banner is able to cast the naked form of the athlete into the viewer’s mind, to truly appreciate the strength and also fragility of the competitor waiting for that starting pistol to sound.

Fiona Banner - Superhuman Nude - Paralympics Poster


Then there’s Tracy Emin’s poster, Birds 2012. Surprisingly unprovocative, Emin adopts a more delicate and compassionate approach in her homage to inspiring Paralympic athletes. The scrawly nature of her illustration, in particular her handwritten message, coupled with the two small birds kissing on a fine branch brings a tenderness to the piece. Emin also incorporates the Paralympic logo within the poster, almost disguising the agitos as gently falling feathers or leaves. Thankfully one idea that Emin scrapped was titled “I might not always come first but I do enjoy sex”.

Tracey Emin - Birds 2012 - Paralympics Poster


What is most striking however is how abstract all the posters are as if they could have been for any Olympics. Apart from Sarah Morris’s Big Ben poster (even this well known landmark is hardly distinguishable), they don’t directly relate to the host city or country. With the Beijing Olympics, they pushed the idea of heritage and cultural traditions, and with the Sydney Games there were boomerangs and aboriginal influences. Whether this was a statement to suggest timeless art, inclusion of the world to the London Olympics, or the egotistical nature of British artists, be ready to see these posters everywhere.

Alan Clarke – Olympic 2012 Promotion Posters

October 20, 2010

A talented young designer who is making his territory in the design world.

Alan Clarke - Olympic 2012 Poster image

I enjoy the simplicity of the design, as if limited by a 2-colour print press machine. It is reminiscent of the pre/post war posters found in the London Underground, making full usage of opacity layers and intriguing shapes to suggest motion and imply the different sporting disciplines offered at the Olympics.

It makes a stark contrast to Wolff Olins’ controversial logo, it’s fresh to see Clarke not take a “contemporary” approach to his designs, any form of photographic manipulation or heavy photoshop reliance, it’s good to see the concept shine through.


2012 Olympic Mascots Unveiled

May 20, 2010

Exciting stuff, the new mascots for London 2012 Olympic Games:

I was not exactly in awe of the mascots initially after seeing press photos of them, looked really random and appear to have no cultural legacy tied to the design. (Why the “Mandeville” and “Wenlock” names!?)

It was only after watching this endearing video that I understood the story, the chosen names, and what the characters represent. I can see this appealing to primary school kids, which is the target audience as they are meant to inspire children to be more active, but to everyone else I’m not too sure…they are just blobs of steel.

Hopefully it can make up the £4 billion revenue it needs to create to save us from debt…got 2 years and counting…


2012 Landmark Sculpture – ArcelorMittal Orbit

April 1, 2010


Sculptor Anish Kapoor’s design has been chosen to be the monument landmark for the London 2012 Olympics games.

The receiver of the Turner Prize in 1991 has created a 115m high structure which will allow users to capture a panoramic view of London.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit Image

The ArcelorMittal Orbit - London's future monument

“I am deeply honoured to be invited to undertake this challenging commission,” Kapoor said.

“I am particularly attracted to it because of the opportunity to involve members of the public in a particularly close and personal way. It is the commission of a lifetime.”

“Anish Kapoor’s inspired art work will truly encapsulate the energy and spirit of London during the Games and, as such, will become the perfect iconic cultural legacy.”

Kapoor also mentions in an interview (found via the link below) that the “sensation of unstability” is to suggest the continuation of movement as opposed to the stereotypical pyramidal tower structures.

He’s working alongside Cecil Balmond who will work out how to make it stable. I hope he succeeds.