London 2012 font

Nick Job's picture

Much water has passed under the bridge since last Monday's London 2012 Olympics brand launch. I was quite surprised that no-one (well, only Tom Howe and belleisle made any reference to it) has really given the 2012 font any constructive criticism.

I think only belleisle commented, which probably says a great deal more about the controversial nature of the marque itself than of the choice of supporting typeface which was perhaps a secondary issue in most people's minds:

>>>The corporate typeface they have designed is just as bad, but in my anger I don’t have the will to address that yet.

Have you had a chance to chill yet? If you're anything like me, you're worryingly starting to like the marque, but you're annoyed that you do because, for wahatever reason, you feel like you really shouldn't and have been coaxed and lulled into it against your will because it's not fair that something that breaks so many rules (if rules really exist when it comes to design) can actually force its way into you affections, of which you were sure you were in control. And this is only a week on. And it scares you how much you may come to adore it because your heart tells you that, in an ideal world, love should be at first sight, not at the last. You argue that you only like it because you feel pity for it but then you remember that someone got paid a fortune for doing it and why should you feel sorry for a massive branding agency who have learned to tell people how to think, and always turn out to be right in the long run. And so you're eventually left with only one possibility: You love it because it is rather fine design. And then you will insist that you still hate it (because you think that it would be fickle to admit that you've changed your mind in less than a week). Admit it.

Anyway back to the font, here's a capture from the official website.

Get used to it, you're going to be seeing quite a bit of it in the next few months and years.

Anyone know what it is (Acrobat tells me it's '2012_BoldSIX') and who designed it? I find the circular O's and o's a bit irritating. I think the font (and the logo for that matter) may be patronising in this context. I'm not sure you engage young people by being condescending to give them a look they can 'identify with'. Doesn't wash. It might succeed in making old people feel young again but that's because old people aren't as smart as young people.

Yes that really is an fi ligature lurking in there.

I'm guessing the brief was to get it to complement/echo the marque, jagged and contemporary but having to include/shoehorn in the classical circular rings somehow. Clumsy I'd say, but they got paid for their font which is more than I've ever done.

Anyone know any classic fonts that are patently British with circular O's? Hmmm.

paul d hunt's picture

Well more water has passed under the bridge, but it seems that this font has been identified as '2012 Headline' by Gareth Hague:

http://new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/forum/case/189656/

henrypijames's picture

Wow, the audacity of using cyan on white text for the official corporate design guide just speaks volumes...

Or maybe this is supposed to be printed on black paper? But even if that's the case, the actual paper color should have been set, which is very easily done in InDesign (the PDF's meta data says "xap:CreatorTool: Adobe InDesign CS2 (4.0)").

blank's picture

That paralympics lion logo is pretty badassed. Can’t say much for the rest of it.

paul d hunt's picture

anyone know of any fonts with a similar feel?

schui's picture

I think the scriptek italic has a slighty similar look. not much, but it's something.

blank's picture

I bet there’s a knockoff on the market before the end of 2009.

paul d hunt's picture

James, If i wanted a knockoff, I'm sure i could make one. That's not what i'm looking for. I don't intend to tread on the toes of the Olympics organization.

jonathanhughes's picture

It reminds me of a cleaner version of Emigre's Elektrix

http://www.fontshop.com/fonts/downloads/emigre/elektrix/

kentlew's picture

Cyrus Highsmith's Occupant Gothic italic shares some characteristics.

dezcom's picture

"anyone know of any fonts with a similar feel?"

Paul,
This is not the same casual feel but here is an angular sans italic i did 4 years ago. I only did the lower case. It is one of the many projects I have on the back burner. It is called "Dez Sans Script"

ChrisL

hrant's picture

Chris, except for the name I like it! :-)

What I find extra interesting about the London 2012 font, Keks and Klute* is that the letterforms are leaning forward due to rotation, not [just] skew. This is a flavor of "movement" almost never seen in type.

* http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/fw-alias/klute/

hhp

dezcom's picture

Thanks, Hrant
But you know I can't let a pun go easily. :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Klute is really good!
Much better than the London Olympics face.

ChrisL

hrant's picture

Hey, wait a second: Klute is by Gareth Hague!! Same guy!
So the origin of the London 2012 stuff goes back to 1997.

And compare the numerals in Klute to the logo...

hhp

dezcom's picture

Hrant,
I thought that was why you posted the link? Yes, it is the same guy.

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

@hrant

yes, i saw Keks and actually prefer it to the 2012 font. i recommended it to my friend who was looking for something in the same vein.

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