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The Sport of the Logo

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The Sochi 2014 Olympics are over with many memorable moments, but will anyone remember the logo? Just like other Olympic logos, the Sochi logo received its fair share of criticism. It is one of only three Olympic logos since 1924 that did not include an iconic image within the logo. The highly controversial London 2012 logo was another one that did not include an image. (See our blog post from January 25, 2013). But the power of typography should not be overlooked, considering memorable logos like Coca-Cola, IBM, and Facebook. The Sochi logo was most notable because it was the first Olympic logo to carry a URL in the mark (Sochi.ru), demonstrating how technology has transformed everything, even the Olympic games.

Logos that work best are those that are tied tightly to a consistent brand, as was the case in Sochi. The overall branding for the Sochi Olympics incorporated a graphic element known as the Sochi “quilt”, used to represent the many different regions, cultures and traditions in Russia.

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The logo and the quilt worked well together, and the quilt did add great splashes of color throughout the Olympic Village. Optima Group’s Creative Director, Tracy Hubbard had a few thoughts on the topic, “I like the logo. I like its simplicity and the refinement of the typography. The quilt graphics were a little problematic for me, especially while watching the snowboarding events. The clash between the patchwork quilt outfit for the American snowboarders (designed by Burton Snowboards) and the Russian quilt was a bit much. The bright Sochi quilt clashed with many of the athlete’s outfits. A simple thing, but it helps underscore how important it is to understand how a brand and logo will be utilized across all mediums.”

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NBCOlympics.com/USA Today Sports
American, Sage Kotsenburg after winning the gold medal. Note the clashing quilt motifs.

For more information on how Optima Group can help create new logos and consistent brands as well as promote existing brands, please contact us at 203.255.1066.