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Madrid 2020 logo causes controversy

Madrid 2020 logo

Madrid launched its bid for the 2020 Olympics yesterday with a logo that left many Spaniards confused (as reported in The Telegraph).

“The design purportedly consists of the letter M for Madrid and the number 20 in front of the coloured rings of the Olympics stylised into arches inspired by the Madrid landmark, Puerta de Alcalá.

“But the lettering appears to show “20020,” an effect that has brought much derision in the Spanish press and on social networking sites.”

The design is a result of a national competition, won by 22-year-old Luis Peiret. Here’s the logo (shown below) that Luis designed.

Madrid 2020 logo
Luis Peiret’s original logo design, via elmundo.es

Luis picked-up €6,000 for his winning entry, and intended the script to say M20, but according to this report, an agency called TAPSA significantly modified the design by including an incorrect accent on the ‘i’ of Madrid, removing the colour black, and making the logo look like it reads 20020.

Madrid 2020 logo
Photo of Luis Peiret via ABC.es

“This is not my logo,” said Peiret.

In a fresh twist, a Madrid company that manufactures gay dolls has claimed the Madrid 2020 logo is a rip-off of its design.

Madrid 2020 logo
Madrid 2020 logo

Note the Puerta de Alcalá, and the colours on the heads.

But never mind that. Gays Kelly. Inspired.

Via @MatDolphin.

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40 appreciated comments

  1. There are miles between the two logos, i think the “original” is fine, however he is posing with the “This is not my logo,” one, kind of weird…

  2. I thought they were abstract flip flops.

  3. The original that Luis did is far better than the one they changed. Why they changed it I have no idea. Even the types nicer. On the original I see an m and a 20.

    It’s a shame that some agency thinks that they own a particular shape and that anything remotely crown shaped and colourful is a copy of them. Pathetic.

    Sigh. The logo’s fine, it’s better than 2012. It’s better than many Olympic identities actually. But why did they change it? What was the point?

    Politics and design don’t mix.

  4. Regardless of the 20020 and the dodgy accent, I find it amazing how they selected a design and then totally changed it. A complete lack of confidence in the design. Not only that but the agency made logo worse.

    Both versions of the logo do evoke a certain degree of “Spanishness”, the original more than the amended version.

    I feel a bit sorry for the lad who came up with the original, knelt next to the version that almost completely different to his concept. Love the slightly ironic thumbs up though.

  5. James

    Firstly, well done to the young designer – before everyone rips into his design and points out what’s wrong with it ( opinions are like…………yeah, exactly) but the petty design agency who just had to get their grubby fingers on it have messed things up big time.

    If it aint broke….
    Well done fella, shame on the agency.

  6. Karen Billings

    I agree, Zach. I also thought they were flip flops, and wondered why they were trying to bring a beachy feel….because it is the Summer Olympics, perhaps? If not flip flops, it also makes me think of the NBC network peacock. The original feels much more….original.

  7. Surb

    I like the original design much more than the other version. When I first saw the updated version I thought it was a bunch of flip-flops and was confused when it said that it was for the 2020 Olympics. The original make much more sense and I find it to be a lot more appealing.

    The fact that the company went and changed the original design so drastically says more that they couldn’t think of anything on their own, so they had someone else do the “base design” and modified it to be their own. That’s bull****. I designed a logo for a competition and won and MY logo is being used, not some modified version that another company altered.

    I do find it hilarious that the doll company is mad about it. After seeing that I think the new version looks more like the doll’s design than the original.

  8. Caitlyn Nichols

    As soon as I saw the new logo I immediately thought it said 20020 as well. Honestly, I favor the original logo. I understand when a company wants to tweak things up – the new one is clean and fresh – and then again having to rip apart at an idea that works is where I find it to be iffy. At least the original didn’t have such a design flaw that is so noticeable.

  9. I think that agency took money from the doll company and made those changes. :D

    Yep! A conspiracy theory. They want to prime people from all over the world into buying those dolls!

  10. Looks like colorful gravestones, or twinkies. And the typography is beyond bad. Nothing about this says Olympics, or Madrid, and the year isn’t perceptible. D+ for design.

  11. iain

    A real mess. Unappealing colours, total dilution of the original concept, confused adaptation of the white script (“let’s make something that looks a bit Olympic Ring-ey!”). I think Luis’ wry, sideways smile says a lot.

    If anybody is interested – TAPSA’s web site: http://www.tapsa.es/

  12. I’d be interested to know how much they paid the agency for those modifications…

  13. Legibility is poor due to a weak execution. Given that a ‘professional’ agency have tweaked the original design any design issues should have been resolved.

  14. Keep

    Just a detail: the national competition was restricted to students of design. One more mistake in the process. Spain has plenty of professionals who could have done a good job.

  15. Alex

    What a load of rubbish. And the fact that a gay doll manufacturer thinks it’s a rip off? I think you’ll find the ownership is with a rainbow. This makes me mad.

  16. Jon

    Think of the positives: hopefully it’ll detract attention from the London 2012 logo…

  17. Madrid Inhabitant

    Nice article. Just a little correction: It’s PUERTA de Alcalá, not Puerto (It’s an old gate to the city, not a port).

  18. Thanks for spotting the typo. My mistake.

  19. Lacey

    This is exactly why logo design ‘competitions’ are a load of B.S. It’s a solicitation for free work veiled by the allure of 15 minutes of fame.

  20. TuesdayChild

    Ok, so, Im spanish and I’ve got a voice on this.

    Regardless the logo beign good or bad, the biggest problem of the story is how such a crucial project like this has been –again– outsourced in such a shameful way.
    I mean, if any student is to be eligible to create a corporate identity project this important, would it be OK to have sunday-morning-bikers or non-profesional-sportists to represent one’s country in the Olympic Games?

    Not to mention, the contest’s draconian conditions (where the further modification of the submitted work is explained) and the worst of all:
    This boy has attended his Graphic Design classes in a school where the low profile and lack of professional and teaching skills of many of the board of teachers is the key for lots of boys and girls ending their studies and having learned nothing. This is actually where it begins.

    I truly know, because I have experienced that myself.

    Here’s an article whit the talk of many great spanish designers and connoisseurs: http://bit.ly/Ac3FZD

    Of course, there is more to great spanish Graphic Design than this.

  21. TuesdayChild

    Sorry for the typos. Train and iPhone kb not going well… ;-)

  22. This identity makes everyone involved look a bit foolish, particularly the people standing in front of it behind the podium. Poor buggers…

  23. Well, it seems this story doesn’t end here.

  24. Another situation that easily could have been avoided by hiring a professional. The first thing I noticed about the logo, before knowing what this post was about, was the unintentional 20020 typo. P.S. TuesdayChild gets my comment award for using the word “draconian”. =)

  25. TuesdayChild

    Thanks Kevin! Got some more “weirds” to use. Just saving them for further flaunting! :-))))

  26. John Spiegel

    I agree with Keep, Lacy & Kevin… That’s the problem with “Contests & Competitions”, They are a means of getting a design for free! With an event as important as this, they should have hired a pro!
    Luis got his feet wet and some design exposure. Too bad the “Committee”
    had to mess with it!

  27. Jimmy

    I’m a young designer and every logo I create gets modified nearly beyond it’s original design all the time. I’m forced to make these adjustments to please the client and my superiors. I always end up thinking my original design was far superior. Sure, someone else did these changes to his logo but I find I have to deal with that sort of thing a lot myself.

    As for the logo itself. I don’t like the original or the modified one. The gradient colors look a little muddy and I’m not too keen on the font choice. So, in that regard I actually like the new logo more. Cutting the script font in half was an odd choice.

    And as for the company claiming it’s a rip-off of their logo. Really? Their logo is just a rainbow…

  28. steve

    That’s what you get when you want designers to work for free.

    DOWN WITH SPEC WORK!

  29. The higher ups modified his original design because they wanted to make it “better” #classic! Graphic Design 101: Your work will alway get butchered when you aren’t creatively in control of the branding.

  30. Jon

    You know, I’m beginning to think that some people really do believe they’re doing designers “a favour” by offering work on a spec basis:

    “This way everyone gets the same chance and it will launch the career of a young up-and-comer.”

    Sad, but true. Too many people still think of design as nothing more than “pretty pictures”.

    I also believe that there are just as many who know better, and are just trying to get something for nothing…

  31. Look, they have change again the logo….
    http://gazpachoblog.com/post/16817698870/las-propuestas-que-enviamos-moedetriana-y-yo-para

    Obviously is a joke, haha, the last logo is for the winter games :P

  32. It is unfortunate that some clients change and tamper with the design of a logo. I had a similar experience where the web designer later changed the original logo I did and it completely lost its identity across all their marketing materials. I always say, leave it to the designer, that is why you hired them in the first place.

  33. I like the font of the original logo much much better. Obviously the agency wanted the five shapes to refer to the Puerta de Alcalá, but it wasn’t worth it!

  34. Tessa

    i thought they were flipflops to b honest

  35. When I first saw the logo, confusion was omnipresent, especially because of the 20020. This got me curious about the concept behind it, and I have to admit, the original actually makes sense! I think that if the agency would have integrated Luis in their “update” they would have done a better job, egocentric bast**ds.

  36. I agree that Luis Peiret’s original logo is much stronger. The choice in type is bolder, the skewed rectangles lend a sense of energy and activity (olympics=sports) and the color combinations are more consistent with the Olympics brand.

    I feel Luis’s pain in the photo. If you really look at what his eyes are communicating (and his mustered smile), his distaste is subtle but apparent. I’m sure a photographer grabbed him for a photo op and he was like, “Uh… Sure.” I mean, you just won a national contest for the pride of your country. What are you gonna say? No? Let’s be realistic here…

  37. João Ferreira

    This kind of “competition” should be prohibited. It is outrageous that people with responsibility in public governing value their culture this little…

    “What do we think about design? It’s worthless, let’s get a random guy do it and then change it or whatever…”

    The result? Worthless piece of crap.

  38. I agree, his logo is better and makes more sense. I actually did a 2020 Olympic project (in thoughts that they landed the olympics) for Madrid while in college. I see similarities in my design vs his, especially in color use, however I used more of an angled approach as opposed to an organic feel.

  39. Yes, the design agency have missed the point of the original concept. However, national design competitions for national events are a great idea, it’s ridiculous to believe that only ‘prominent’ designers should be highly commissioned for such things. Designers don’t own design, so get off your soapboxes people.

  40. Jason

    Contests are a gamble and of course they would anticipate a clean-up. The revised logo is better visually, but makes that MAJOR misstep on clarity. So it goes. Nobody is perfect. That this was not caught is the surprise!


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