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Posts Tagged ‘Lord Coe’

Adrian Shaughnessy Survives Journey Into Wolff Olins Den of Crazies

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We admire the courage of Creative Review and Design Observer contributor Adrian Shaughnessy, we really do. He has done something we wouldn’t do, not even if our blogging careers depended on it. He has visited a dangerous realm known worldwide for its proliferation of controversy, protest and seizures: He has visited the offices of Wolff Olins. Don’t worry, he was screened for epilepsy ahead of time.

He was even so bold as to ask them about the deadly Olympic logo, risking life, limb and permanent damage to his eyesight when speaking with the creators of the biggest design scandal of 2007, Brian Boylan and Patrick Cox. And even though Shaughnessy had called it (pick one) “ghastly, dreadful, impoverished, bad, unmemorable, trying to be trendy,” they were nice!

Both Boylin and Cox stand by the 2012 work. I expected them to be evasive, constrained by gagging orders from the London 2012 committee, but the opposite was true. They discussed it freely and with quiet enthusiasm, which made me realise that Lord Coe and his team committed an Olympic-sized error by not allowing Wolff Olins to defend their work. Their considered response would have deflected some of the media criticism.

To our amazement, Wolff Olins has done plenty of work that we hadn’t previously recognized them for, and we noticed some common themes. So without delay, a look back at the response to their other big clients:

London 2012 Olympics: Controversy, protest, seizures.
(RED): Controversy, protest.
NYC logo: Controversy, protest.

The only one that doesn’t fit the mold?

New Museum: Widespread praise (finally).

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When Design Attacks: London’s Logo Really Making People Sick

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You asked for it, you got it! A high-flying design scandal that’s front page news! The question is, what does this really mean for anyone? We’re not sure! But we sure are excited! So excited that we’re feeling really dizzy!

London Olympic Logo Flap Recap
Once again, the epilepsy report from Reuters; over 50,000 people simultaneously puke; Mayor Ken Livingstone says don’t pay Wolff Olins; but Wolff Olins didn’t make the video, they swear; but Armin Vit likes the video; Daily Mail readers can do better; CNN viewers can do better; even–gasp–the SUN can do better!; Adrian Shaughnessy bemoans the loss of his hamster; Lord Coe cries into his shepherd’s pie.

Critic Recap
Peter Saville: “cheesy”, “brave and confrontational”
Stephen Bayley: “puerile mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal”
Michael Johnson: “I’m sure a lot of people will hate it”
Jessica Helfand (on the BBC!): “destructive, abrasive”
Adrian Shaughnessy (also on BBC!): “ghastly, dreadful, impoverished, bad, unmemorable, trying to be trendy…”

You know, after looking at it so much today, it almost feels like an old friend. An old friend who used to be really big back in the ’80s until he started doing a lot of blow and and hanging out behind this pub in Brixton wearing the same hot pink jumpsuit from the ’80s instead now it’s covered in razors and broken glass and you accidentally make eye contact and he starts reaching out towards you screaming “Please, please! Just a few pence! I don’t got no one else! I ain’t got nowhere else to go!”