2012 appointed Wolff Olins without seeing design ideas
LONDON - Wolff Olins, the design agency which last week unveiled the much-derided Olympic logo, was appointed without London 2012 having seen any design ideas from the agency.
According to reports in The Sunday Times, none of the four shortlisted agencies had to submit examples of their proposed Olympic logos for the 13-week competition, which was conducted by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.
Locog has defended its decision not to ask any of the agencies to submit examples of designs for the 2012 Olympics, stating it would have been too expensive for each of the agencies to submit a rough design at the brief stage. However, this is a common approach in many pitches.
Instead, four agencies -- Interbrand, Identica, Wolff Olins and Lambie Nairn -- were asked to submit their approach to creating a symbol for the games, which Locog said must produce a brand "like never before" in Olympic history, that would "inspire the youth of the world".
Chris Townsend, commercial director of Locog, said: "We ran this process as any professional blue-chip company would, which means meeting the best agencies and selecting a small number to formally pitch. Developing creative work is very costly for agencies and clients."
However, the decision to appoint Wolff Olins without seeing creative work has been heavily criticised by the design community and MPs, who have questioned the amount of money spent on the design and the process in which it was selected.
The chosen design was endorsed by: Locog chairman Lord Sebastian Coe; culture secretary Tessa Jowell; Lord Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association.
Despite the widespread criticism of the London 2012 Olympic logo, Locog and Wolff Olins are to press ahead with the branding plans for the design by finding ways to incorporate the logo into merchandise, including clothing, household furnishings and promotional materials.
Brian Boylan, the chairman of Wolff Olins, has close ties with Tessa Jowell, who appointed him commissioner of the government's Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.
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