£400,000 Olympics logo 'a mess'

The logo for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics has been unveiled. Bold and controversial, the logo immediately drew stinging criticism and high praise today.

The logo for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics has been unveiled.

Bold and controversial, the logo immediately drew stinging criticism and high praise today.

While organisers and Olympic stars hailed it as "dynamic" and "vibrant'' members of the public branded it a "scribble'' and a child-like "mess'' that looked like a "toileting monkey'' or "a broken swastika''.

A year of research, including consumer testing, went into the £400,000 Wolff Ollins-designed brand. It was funded from private sources and a London Olympic organising committee spokeswoman described it as "money well spent''.

The logo, a bold jagged emblem based on the date "2012'', comes in a series of very bright shades of pink, blue, green and orange, in a modern take on the Olympic colours.

The word "London'' and the all-important Olympic rings are included in the first two digits.

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"It has movement to it and it will evolve,'' London 2012 said.

For organisers, rebranding unveiling is the most significant move since London won the race to host the Games.

A successful brand helps bring in millions, potentially up to £600 million, in sponsorship and sales of everything from mugs, mascots to T-shirts.

Design guru Stephen Bayley, founder of the Design Museum, said: "It is a puerile mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal.

"It is feeble. It was a wonderful chance to do something magnificent and it was a waste of resources.''

A flood of complaints hit the BBC's website within minutes of its glossy London launch.

Viewers variously described it as "the equivalent of yer Dad dancing at a party, down wiv the kidz innit'', "arty graffiti'' and "it looks like a broken swastika''.