Olympic Games

I find it interesting that hovering above all the preparations and anticipation for the 2012 Olympics is the ominous cloud of collapse and suffering looming over Europe, particularly Greece which gave us the original Olympics. Alias made this post about the Olympic identity being used for protest and anonymous trolling. In their final remarks they state: "We rail against the lack of restraint of bankers, fat cats or MPs, but can we restrain ourselves?". This is a good point, but I kept thinking about the meaning of self-restraint in design. Why is it imposed on us and why do we impose order on other designers? In a previous post they talk about a poorly made version of the 2012 Olympic font being ripped off and distributed across the internet.
There are freeware copies of the font that are somehow exact matches of the original. These must have been cut and paste from original data. Used without authority, without adherence to guidelines, matching typestyle but disconnected content, these are more damaging. Having read about the litigiousness surrounding the use of the Olympic rings, I’m surprised other facets of the identity aren’t being so protected.

I think what isn't found in their discussion is that if the leaders and social elites are acting with reckless abandon, then why should one expect anything else but a complete disregard for moral authority? This point was discussed at some length last summer when riots and looting erupted across London. Are designers supposed to be the sword wielding moral knights that must descend from the clouds to return everything to order? And is branding an event like the Olympics, an event which generates loads of money for the host country, not just another system of control heaved on people? Are we undergoing a design insurrection?

I think these rip-off visual critiques, however morally abandoned they may be in execution, come from a genuine, grassroots discontent. It's appropriating the symbols of power to create counter-messaging and new meaning. Believing in this, I decided to make these posters about the atmosphere surrounding and leading up to the 2012 Olympic games; to pair the aesthetic crimes with the austerity crimes being perpetrated in Spain, Italy, Belgium, and most of all Greece as the Eurozone seems held in imminent death. Rings interlocking with other rings like the snake eating it's own tail.


  1. all of this is really spot-on.
    that pull-quote is so striking in its utter daftness. to me, the Olympics are nothing more than a grand-scale, commercialized fetishization of the human body in its most perfect and efficient form, regardless of nationality (yet paradoxically EMBODYING nation-allegiances.) and that remark about "protecting" its "identity" emphasizes what a moral clusterfuck the whole ceremony is. Meaning, it implies that there exists a centralized authority, which is theoretically harmed by the design insurrection you mentioned (shit! sports: not as egalitarian/utopian as we thought!)

    What is supposed to be a global dialogue, so to speak, is exposed as just another mechanism of aesthetic and economic control. and people hate being called out on their hypocrisy, no matter how blatant it is.
    ...but don't stop, i think these should be displayed widely.

    1. Thanks for the support! I don't think the form is totally there yet, some iconography could be introduced. Like, just imagine a surface to air missile done in the style of olympic icons. Or a banker hurdling over the angry slaves holding a briefcase stuffed with bailout money.

      I definitely feel like there is a group that believes themselves to be a centralized authority. I think that's disgusting but maybe it's symptomatic of a larger problem with my profession; a result of it being inflated as an easy, cool, relaxed profession for the benefit of the private education industry and the critically endangered purpose of the designer in society. Like the hippies say "it's all so connected, maaaaaannnn"

      ...Sports are a rotten but lucrative way to distract people.