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Entries in Beyond the Games (6)

Tuesday
Aug142012

Where did all the brand names go? 

This Olympics toned down the presence of sponsor companies in favor of pageantry and spectacle.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and American Michael Phelps have collected their gold medals; the 2012 Olympic games in London begin are now relegated to history. What does this all mean? It's time for me to get back to my normal life of NFL football and MLB baseball and all the familiar elements inherent to those leagues.

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Tuesday
Jul312012

From Munich to London: Creating Olympic Brands with Meaning

These posters of Otl Aicher's brand design work for the 1972 hang in my kitchen as a reminder of how powerful effective branding can be.

Otl Aicher’s graphic design work for the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich, Germany is the gold standard by which all subsequent brand design work for Olympic Games should be compared. Hanging on my kitchen wall are two posters of Aicher’s work, and every morning as I’m sipping my coffee I’m reminded that even though 40 years has passed, the graphics have not aged at all. If Aicher’s work was released tomorrow, the freshness of the colors, the simplicity of the graphic language, and the way it communicates information would still come across as innovative and effective.

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Monday
Jul302012

The Golden Arches go for the Green

Photo courtesy of Flickr user diamond geezer

Like all things Olympic, I was struck by the imagery of the newest and largest McDonald's that just opened at the Olympic Games this week in London. The innovation of this 32,000 square foot fast food location (the largest in the world) is not just the sheer size and efficiency of serving and seating 1,500 customers by 500 employees, but the aspect that the entire facility will be dismantled after 6 weeks and the majority of materials will be repurposed or recycled. The structure is made primarily of Glulam, timber cladding and wood decking and has been 3 years in planning, design and finally construction, which completed last month. But there is more than an architectural design story here…

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Thursday
Jul262012

Elements of an ideal stadium (How I would do it):

The Beijing Olympics had one of the most memorable opening ceremonies in recent memory, and the iconic Bird's Nest stadium played a huge role in the production. Photo courtesy of Flickr user J Y F+

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Thursday
Jul262012

In a Branding Sprint: Competing for your country or your sponsor?

Photo courtesy of Nike

How much should corporate branding, like the Nike swoosh, be a part of Olympic uniform design? Uniform supplier logos have been on jerseys, singlets, shorts, and swimsuits for decades, but gradually the logos have increased in size to the point where they have almost equal billing with the Stars & Stripes, Union Jack, or Drapeau Tricolore. The barrier has eroded between the representation of one’s country and representing one’s sponsors, and when the corporate logo becomes the focal point of uniforms, viewers and Olympians alike may lose true sight of the games.

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