The $800,000 Olympic logo

The $800,000 Olympic logo

What’s in a logo? What should a graphical representation of your brand or company really say?

There’s a lot of buzz right now because London’s Olympic committee spent almost $800,000 (and a year’s work) on a controversial new logo for the 2102 Olympic games. And as anyone can tell, it’s crappy. Choppy and misshapen, it looks like some pieces of paper cut out and slapped together by a kindergarten kid.

A good logo is an empty vessel, a clean, simple abstract image. It should have no intrinsic meaning until you bring meaning to it. For example, the swoop of the Nike logo meant nothing until the company filled it with meaning by infusing it with their values.

If your company needs a logo, hire a graphic designer to create a simple, abstract image. Add your company name is nice letterforms. Don’t worry if it doesn’t “say” much, if anything, yet. As Seth observed, later you’ll add meaning — i.e., the values your company represents to your customers.

Do that and you’ll save about $798,000 on your logo. And you won’t have 50,000 people signing a petition to ditch it.

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