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Glasgow 2014 Games logo revealed

Glasgow 2014 logo

Today saw the launch of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games logo.

Glasgow design agency Marque is responsible for the identity design project, said to have cost £95,000. This fee covers such elements as brand guidelines, animated work, visual language, typography, photographic style, and art direction.

Developing a specific logo for the event is a requirement made by the the Commonwealth Games Federation as part of the contract for hosting the games.

Having a logo allows the organisers the best possible chance to earn additional revenue because they can sell the use of the design to sponsors.

The horizontal bar and emblem at the foot of the logo are required elements, and you’ll see them used in designs for other recent Commonwealth Games (Delhi 2010 for example).

About the design, from the Glasgow 2014 website:

  1. The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be the 20th Games. This is a landmark number that adds to Glasgow’s pride in being its host. The outer ring, that encompasses the others, is a strong, vibrant red — the official “True Red” of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) palette.
  2. There will be 17 sports on the programme at Glasgow 2014. The next ring of the brand identity, in “Triumph Yellow” from the CGF palette, represents the number of sports. It’s exactly 17/20ths of the full circle.
  3. Glasgow 2014 will host 11 days of competition, which are represented in the third ring of the brand identity, rendered in the CGF’s “Heritage blue”, and making up 11/20ths of the circle.
  4. At the heart of our brand identity is 1 Host City, represented by “G” for Glasgow, meaning “Dear Green Place” in Gaelic, and is in a suitably vibrant green.

Mark Noe, Managing Director of Marque said:

“We are privileged to have had the opportunity to create the brand identity for such a significant event as the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The identity is one which is grounded in integrity and design rigour and we are proud of the legacy that it will leave behind for Glasgow and Scotland. We hope that the identity will become an iconic symbol celebrating a very special moment in time – and will become synonymous with quality, achievement and vision.”

You can view a short digital animation of the logo here.

In the embedded YouTube video below you’ll see John Donnelly, director of marketing and sponsorship for the Games, talking to The Drum about the process of designing the identity, the appointment procedure and explaining how it will be used to promote and market Glasgow’s event over the course of the next four years.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

36 appreciated comments

  1. Helen

    Oh dear. It looks really dated and not centred.. the animation only makes this worse! Just like a television intro from the 1980s. They should drop the top half and ask for a 50% refund!

  2. I think ‘underwhelming’, or ‘disappointed’, are the main feelings of this, certainly in and around Glasgow.

    I love Marque. You need only look at their website to see what they are capable of. I am a huge fan so I apologise if my post makes no apologies for that.

    But you know a logo is struggling when all and sundry are desperate for you to read the rationale before you look at it. That it should be viewed within its own context. Don’t look at it in isolation. For me, a logo should be more than strong enough to stand alone. And I don’t think this does.

    The compulsory element under the text doesn’t help but it’s a parameter that has to be worked within and therefore should be taken into consideration. Unlike the bid logo (http://www.thecgf.com/media/contact/2014.gif) I don’t think the ‘G’ and ‘rings’ sit well with it.

    Marque are a thoughtful, considered agency with some incredible work but I think that this approach may be too subtle. Their thinking behind the rings and so forth is great (though 11 days equalling 11/20ths is, visually, an awkward percentage), the teaser campaign was great (actually revealing the logo without you knowing it) and as a standalone logo, with their own creative direction, it could have been brilliant. But there are committees involved in these things and this logo smells a bit like a lot of input from a lot of people who really shouldn’t be saying anything.

    Having said that, it does bear more than a passing resemblance to a previous Marque job http://www.marquecreative.com/#/the-common-guild/ Is it wise to create a logo with such similarities?

    I have no doubt the supporting brand will be excellent, and some material will look beautiful. This gives a glimpse of the sort of thing Marque have up their sleeve http://theronin.co.uk/Motion/?2014_Glasgow.mov

    But as a standalone logo this falls short sadly. And I really mean sadly because I really wanted this to be a ‘blow-them-all-out-the-water’ success. For whatever reason, which we may never find out, it’s not.

  3. “The horizontal bar and emblem at the foot of the logo are required elements, and you’ll see them used in designs for other recent Commonwealth Games (Delhi 2010 for example).”

    I don’t think it’s possible to create a great symbol for the olympics if this is the case. It becomes an illustration rather than a symbol.

    It’s sad when marketing and rules come to play over the Olympics logo. Let each country to what they want so they truely reflect the spirt of the country and stop trying to make it a corporate brand identity.

    I don’t think it’s any reflection on the design company, just the powers that be.

    IT’S STUPID.

  4. Couldn’t agree more, Lee. If the complete design was 100% determined by the agency responsible, I think we’d see much stronger logos. The same goes for Olympics, FIFA tournaments, etc. where I believe similar “required elements” are involved.

    Martin, I spent a while browsing the Marque website after learning of this launch. You’re right. Some fantastic work, excellently presented.

  5. The description of the whys and wherefores of the colours of the rings makes the marque seem quite laughable and weak.

    Give me London 2012 over this any day. A logo with balls.

  6. Tim B.

    I believe some commentors, and therefore many people reading this article, are confusing this event in Glasgow in 2014 with the Olympics. This is the Commonwealth Games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_Games) and NOT the Olympics.
    It has nothing to do with the “five rings” logo of the Olympics, or any other symbol/icon/brand of the Olympics.

  7. Q

    mediocre!

  8. JC

    It is so similar to the common guild logo, so disappointing.
    It doesn’t even read to me time, data, and measurement.

  9. Andy Bright

    My thought’s fall in-line with Abbas, the whole thing lacks any balls at all.

    I think Marque’s work is good and well presented, but at it’s core it’s derivative Modernist eye candy. I’d guess that they didn’t have either the creative chutzpah or the nuts to fight their corner.

    It’s harsh but that’s my opinion as someone external to the process.

    I suppose the real problem is the process itself. 66 pitching agencies, 10 chemistry sessions and who knows how many on a steering group could deliver anything other than something plain and generic.

    The data and measurement angle doesn’t work for me. Sport isn’t about data and measurement. It’s about winning and, for some, taking part. At very least it’s about emotion. Data and measurement isn’t emotional or human – so how could the logo be emotive or reflect humanity?

    I’d have loved to see one person give the commission. To see passion in the work or a true crafts-person. Something like the story of Paul Rand and the NEXT logo.

    Does anyone know who the designer was? I think that’s an important question. Could you even credit a designer with so many involved?

  10. It goes to show how lazy British tabloids are when it comes to reporting. Here’s Martin and Helen (previous commentators above) quoted in today’s Sun.

    And again, all the emphasis is on the “price of the logo” with no mention of the extra work involved.

  11. Newspapers generally hate design. All they report is that something cost a lot of money and wasn’t liked.

    Having said that I’ve been guilty of that too (sperm logos etc!).

    I think it’s about time we saw some great work on the blog David, some great ideas. That’s if there are any anymore!

    This is an example of the state of design today: too many cooks in the kitchen throwing their own ingredients in the pot when all that is needed is one chef with a clear vision.

  12. To be honest this logo does not stand out as a great design. It does look dated in its form and layout, not really portraying a modern and energetic flow that I believe would be required to make this mark work in its context.

    Having a “required element” in a logo design that is supposed to encompass the place and culture of an individual country every time the games are held, makes it almost impossible to create an identity that can be individual and relevant.

    On the plus side I do like the thinking behind the different sizes of the rings representing the amount of events etc. However this is almost useless as I believe many people will find this logo easily forgettable.

  13. Hey David,

    I love Marque’s designs, especially Chicago Spire. Actually, I like the above logo in black and white like I saw on their web site. It’s got some oomph to it. The color and complete version above doesn’t feel as powerful.

    Looks like a golf ball perched on 3 t’s. Something about the top and the bottom sections feels disconnected. I know from doing logo designs that the best ideas can be ditched and sometimes, if the decision group is large, the end result is more of a compromise that excites no one.

    Hard to say if that happened here or not.

    Thanks! Giulietta

  14. Frank Chi

    Um, has anyone ever seen Glenn Beck’s old logo when he was on CNN? http://antipas.net/tr/gb_logo3.png

    They moved a couple of semi-circles, that’s it. 95,000 pounds for a right-wing extremist’s knockoff logo is really unfortunate.

  15. Miles

    £95,000 is a lot of money for something so uninspired…

  16. Alin B.

    I hope is not the designers decision the result we see here.
    I hope is a not so smart client responsible for this.
    I hope they will see that 95,000 have been wasted… without bragging too much i would have done a logo like that for free, only to punish them.
    And I hope that they will see where was the problem!
    cheers!

  17. They didn’t get £95,000 for just designing the ‘logo’. No-one does. This is the problem with news like this, everyone thinks of one picture. There is a lot of work that goes into a branding scheme like this.

    When it gets into the press, all you see is one image of a ‘logo’ and a sum of money.

    It gives design a bad name.

    Fact is, good design is good value. It makes a difference. It’s under valued.

    There is a problem with design in general these days. Too many rules, not enough instinct, not enough intuition, not enough gut feeling, not enough ‘just running with it’ and too many chefs ruining the broth.

  18. Uh oh, more developments. How would you feel if your work was retroactively decided to be too unoriginal (compared to your own work!)

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/copycat-2014-logo-should-be-cheaper-says-critic-1.1012516

  19. Marque has a very simple and modern website that I like. Their work is also great, but this identity shares little with the quality of work they have done in the past.

  20. Alin B.

    I think most of the readers of this article already know prices and we do not discuss that it was big money for nothing…
    as i read also on other blogs is that almost every time the client, is deciding aspect and colors.
    I work as a designer and i did some bad designs as a beginner and i am proud i can see them bad, because was the main reason which has pushed me forward.. i also thank to my customers who paid me for logo designs and encouraged me to try a bit more, they have seen the potential and they had a vision.
    But from having a vision a clear idea to directing a work of a graphic designer suggesting colors and shapes is a long way and that is a difference that is way my mom is not an astronaut.
    She never prepared for that, she does not know where to look and how…
    Most of the time, clients try to much.. and do not listen to the designer they hired even he proved with his portfolio that he KNOWS what he is doing.
    So in a way, most of the time Clients get what they deserve.
    Have a great weekend!

  21. Marque has some great work in their portfolio. This logo however suffers from being too busy. There are about 3 logos here.

  22. Darren

    I’m from Glasgow, not that matters… But this logo is as Scots say “Shite”.

    It’s like the the channel 4 ad from the late 80′s early 90′s. I really am disappointed with this. And I bet Marque are also (even though they won’t admit it), because it’s probably had to go through a million people before it’s given the green light.

    p.s I heard a rumour its a copy of an older logo the marque designer has done for a college I think. But with colour and minor modifications.

    http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Row-over-39identical39-logo-for.6137459.jp

  23. Jennifer Werneth

    Looks more like a golfball logo, still nice though.

  24. @Darren seems like a “inspiration” of Row over logo mixing with Galatasary color ans style:
    http://galatasaray.theoffside.com/files/2007/10/galatasaray.gif

  25. The G in between the colours looks In Silico.

    Just look at the similarities between this and Pendulum’s album In Silico.

  26. Hmmm, something about it I’m not keen on. Is it the font for the G? Is it the colour combinations maybe?

    It might be the size of the G, maybe it should be smaller. Maybe the lines should be thicker?

    Something about it is lacking in strength for want of a more descriptive word. I can’t quite put my finger on what’s not making it strong.

  27. Brian Laughlan

    I think it is very clear from that interview video that John Donnelly must have been a terrible client for any agency to work for. A Blatant Ponce.

    He looks like the kind of client who would be willing to pay an agency hundreds and thousands (of government/charity money) for a brand, but not listen to the professionals. I bet Marque probably made some really good concepts, but Johnny boy had already opened up Microsoft Word and had a little play around with the drawing tools. – “Can you make it this please?”

    I agree with the comments above that if the design was left entirely in the hands of the agency then we would have seen a much stronger brand.

    Thumbs down for agencies not having the balls to say. STOP.. We know good design, you don’t. Let us do our job.

  28. Nothing to write home about, which is a shame.

  29. Hilary

    This logo looks dated, very 1980′s, which may be a trend right now, but should soon roll out.

  30. DCD

    The original candidate logo was fine — Glasgow in Mockintosh script in front of a torch, where the “torch flame blowing in the wind was a colourful tartan that also somehow resembled the lines/ lanes of a running track in perspective, perhaps with hurdles, and even a yellow V for victory — and the pointy bottom of the torch poked below the text to give a Glasgow holding the event feel. It kind of made sense, seemed Scottish, had the Glasgow element and the sport and sporting occasion elements — it was inoffensive, recognisable and unique — all the elements of a damn good logo.

    The new logo retains the bottom of the torch (why?), the Glasgow font has gone, and so has the tartan. This is definitely less Scottish in flavour. Sport associations could be drawn if the circularity was a track, a target,a discus — or even a ball, but that’s not really very obvious and is quite a stretch of the imagination. The only thing I can think that could sell it a wee bit better would be if that circle represented the new Arena being built beside the Armadillo. Not a lot of folks know what it will look like. You missed a chance to have upturned the bottom portion of the logo (the bit that survived from the original torch one), because that could have been the new arena’s domed roof in elevation — and so the logo would have been a plan and elevation on this new Norman Foster building that is the centre for the games and for the Gymnastics the follow year.

  31. Just been looking at the supporting literature on Marque’s site which I think looks really good. To be honest I don’t mind the logo as a symbol. It looks structurally elegant in my opinion. My main concerns would be that it doesn’t really work with the bottom part. It looks really difficult to work with though – combining 2 symbols/logos is always hard as they are designed to be distinctive on their own. If you were going to have a standard base it should have been more subtle allowing the main logo to dictate the feel not compete against it.

    I do find the explanations of line lengths silly. As some of the comments above have said, it has to work on its own – its a symbol. Who cares how what fraction of the line really is – it doesn’t really make it work better as a logo.

    My other main concern is that it does REALLY resemble the Common Guild logo. Actually surprised they have not made a fuss about this – especially as its the same agency. Massive fan of Marque though – one of my favourite agencies. So inclined to agree with many of the comments above – too much design by committee and red tape for it to be as good as it could be.


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