Design diversity or just bad taste? The London 2012 Olympics logo is just another example of the post I recently added about Design Diversity in response to Thoughts on the globalization of design, posted by Christian Etter.
Personally I feel we need to judge design - logos especially - by its function and not just esthetic appeal.
The dictionary says a logo is "a symbol or other small design adopted by an organization to identify its products, uniform, vehicles, etc".
So esthetically, the organization has a right to do whatever they want. But what about its function. If a logo needs to identity an organization and be used in various mediums, then there are limitations to what can be done.
Where will it live? If the Olympic logo needs to be printed on a pencil, will it work? No. Therefore the logo doesn't work.
Stability - A logo needs to look the same in all of its usage. Does the Olympic logo work when its really small? No. Therefore ...
Clear message - A logo is not very smart, it can carry only one message and that message needs to be clear - ie: a symbol. Though the Olympic logo is "symbolic" to the creator, I would say it is not a symbol ... it is more artwork then icon.
Unique - A logo must be unique to the organization. This logo is unique, very very unique ;-) so I guess we have a winner! But alas, uniqueness cannot prop up the other important functions that are lacking.
If a car doesn't have wheels but has a steering wheel, is it a car? It may look like a car and smell like a car. You may call it a car, but once you need it for its base function - driving - you soon realize that it is not a car.