The logo for the 2014 Winter Olympics, to be held in Sochi, Russia, was unveiled yesterday, becoming the first Olympic emblem to feature a web address — Sochi2014.ru — as organisers target the digital generation.
The Sochi 2014 brand was developed by Interbrand and an “Expert Brand Council” established by the Sochi organising committee.
The logo for the winter games features the web address “sochi2014.ru”, with “Sochi” placed on top of “2014”, typographically mirroring each other, which is meant to reflect that Sochi is the meeting point between the sea and the mountains. The Olympic rings sit in their original colours beside the web address.
Images via the idsgn post on Sochi 2014
Commenting on the Sochi logo, Fred Burt, managing director of Siegel+Gale London, said:
“I’m no fan of the London 2012 identity so it’s good to see Sochi 2014 restore some sanity. It feels fresh and up-to-date, promising a new Russia that perhaps the wider world doesn’t know (think how Beijing benefitted in this regard).
“I’ll be interested to see how the URL plays out — has the system been designed to drop the ‘.ru’?
“The typographical mirroring of the ‘h/y’ ‘s/z’ and ‘0/o’ feels clumsy, however, and undermines the symmetry of the logo. But as ever, it’s the experience not the logo that will make this brand.”
I agree that it’s an improvement on the London 2012 logo, and I like the attempt at symmetry, but there are too many elements competing for attention — the “.ru”, the semi-mirrored type, the rings. A strong logo should leave the viewer with one thing to focus on. Not two, three, four.
If the rings must be used, make them the focus. I’ve yet to see a stronger example than Daniel Eatock’s 2012 alternative — a composite of the Olympic rings and the RAF roundel.
What if we remove the rings from the Sochi logo? If their inclusion is a prerequisite, try something different. Make that the focus.
Okay, so you mightn’t immediately know what event it identifies, but a logo doesn’t need to say what an organisation does, and I’m sure the context in which the design is set will tell a stronger story.
What if the “.ru” is removed, too?
Is the web address really necessary? Won’t most people just search for “Sochi 2014” instead of typing the URL?
Now it’s easier to focus on the typography alone, without extra distraction. It’s meant to reflect that “Sochi is the meeting point between the sea and the mountains,” so why not make that the sole focus rather than add a little here, a little there?