London Olympics

2012 London Olympic Stamps.

The 2012 London Olympics Logo might be one of the ugliest design tragedies of the last few years, but at least one design firm has managed to make something fabulous with it.

Hat-Trick has designed a set of four postage stamps to mark the start of the London 2012 Olympics that are visually quite wonderful. The stamps feature a design that blends sports with iconic London landmarks. Released today in the UK the stamps will be on sale in Europe. No word on international availability via the web, but I’m sure they will be.

 “The pictured athletes are all elite members of the GB teams so they are all due to compete. We had to make sure that they are not recognizable individually as it was important that these are not just GB specific, but rather about the sports themselves. However we wanted to make sure that the sports are represented properly by shooting real athletes in action. One of the trickiest was the fencing and tower bridge stamp.”

The Associated Press’ Robotic Camera Rigs.

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are kicking off in London, and with that comes some spectacular sports photography. One of the challenges of getting some of those great shots is being able to get your camera in the right place at the right time. Using specially designed robotic camera rigs, the Associated Press will be bringing us photographs that would be all but impossible to get using traditional shooting methods. The video below is a behind the scenes look at how they built these and how they control them. It’s some pretty impressive engineering for sports photographers.

“Best Job” Wieden+Kennedy’s Latest for P&G.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Procter and Gamble have released a new commercial for the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games. ” Best Job”, was produced by Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, under the supervision of Creative Director Karl Lieberman. What I love about this spot is how it is a great example of how to reach beyond typical brand perceptions, by creating something that is truly moving and touching.

Everything about this ad is the opposite of what you think of about Proctor and Gamble. If I hadn’t known who this spot was for when I first saw it, I probably would have pegged it for Nike, or another athletic company. It isn’t until the very end of the spot that P&G is tied in, and by that time you are hooked.

Beautifully shot and edited, this 2 minute spot tells multiple stories that all have the same outcome. A proud mother watching their child rise above the rest in the greatest athletic competition on earth. Wonderful camera angles, and lighting capture the growth of 4 children as they become Olympians. 10 or more years is compressed into just over two minutes of footage. Only the last 10 seconds of the piece references P&G and I think this is why it works so well. The spot helps to humanize the brand as you relate to the people in the video.

Once again, a great job from the folks at Wieden+Kennedy.

Win a Trip To The Olympics. Create a Typographic Poster about Sports.

So who wants to go to the Olympics in London? I do for one…

Right now Conqueror is holding a contest where you could win a trip to the Olympics. How do you win, you enter the contest and design a typographical poster about sports using the phrase “It’s not what you win, but how you conquer it.”

The competition is free to enter, so you might as well go for it. Details can be found at

  • Gold Prize: An Olympic Weekend which includes 2 tickets to the 2012 Olympic Games in London
  • Silver Prize x 5: 1pair Bike ID Shoes, feature in Creative Review
  • Bronze Prize x 7: Artwork displayed in Creative Review

Art vs. Design. 12 Artists Chosen to Design London Olympics Posters.

To many, Graphic Design and Illustration have always been considered the bastard stepchild of what is considered fine art. Illustration is not the same as painting, industrial design is not sculpture, and so on. The fact is that while they are both connected via the creative endeavor, they are different. Different yet equal in value on every level. I know that statement is going to piss off a bunch of my fine arts friends, but at the end of the day we all know it is true.

I was once told “You aren’t an artist unless you are self-sustaining at your craft”. That is a fair statement, but I am self-sustaining at my craft. I actually make a pretty good living as a designer, illustrator, motion designer, videographer, editor… Just because the work I do is paid for by a company, business, or publisher, instead of a patron or collector shouldn’t diminish the visual thinking, problem solving, or story telling that goes into a designer or illustrators work.

So why am I on this rant this morning? Because I was rather shocked to read that the Olympic committee  has decided to choose 12 artist to create posters for the 2012 Olympics in London, and not one single graphic designer. (At this point feel free to stop and point at the hideous logo and mascots designed for the games. Follow this with loud laughter.) I am not devaluing the artist that were chosen, and I realize that there is a precedent for choosing (29 artists were commissioned to produce posters for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The posters were sold in limited edition bringing in over 2 million Deutschmarks.) I just think it is odd that no graphic designers were chosen, especially when you look at the rich and diverse design talent that is based in London these days.

Artists Tracey Emin, Chris Ofili, Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Anthea Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith, and Rachel Whiteread, will each create a single poster that will be on display at the Tate in London as part of the London 2012 Festival. The posters will go on sale this fall, and I am sure they will be a huge success. I just wish they would have commissioned 12 designers and illustrators to create posters as well.

Hackney Hear, Audio Augmented Reality for the London Olympic Games.

As the 2012 London Olympic games draw near a new iPhone and Android application has been launch to promote the community, and areas in and around where the games will be played. Hackney Hear uses your smartphone’s GPS location to play interviews, features, poetry, music and new writing depending on your where you are in the London area.

As you walk through the city Your position will trigger audio clips, creating your own soundscape. More than 400 stories will be available in the Hackney district of London, giving you a wonderful soundtrack as you walk through the Olympic borough.

The application features everything from interviews of famous children from the borough like Lord Sugar on one street, to Michael Rosen’s ballad about Dalston Junction or hit the canals to hear writer Iain Sinclair reveal the hidden underground river of the Hackney Brook. Hackney Hear reveals the colorful history, the multitude of lives and the borough’s immense artistic outpourings via your phone as you walk.

There are new commissions, specially recorded interviews and community generated audio. This smartphone application reflects the different worlds that are practically living on top of each other creating an immersive, audio based  augmented reality where the sights are the same but the sound creates another world.

This app will be launched later this year as the build-up to London 2012 hits a fever pitch.  It will also provide a post-Olympic legacy as it continues to grow after the Games are over.