London 2012 - Mascots Revealed

Bask in the glory of British design…

2 big pulled wisdom teeth or phallic symbols… you choose

I think they’re great. For me personally Im getting a bit sick of what seems to be a vast percentage of british people jumping on the “were going to screw it up band wagon”, “isn’t the logo shit, wtf are those mascots?”. I know we tend to be a self depricating bunch and not quite so gung ho as other nations, but I think they are really doing a great job and here is why:

Mascots;

WATCH THE STORY FIRST! The story behind them is great, I sat in our living room and saw a bunch of 25+ blokes all laughing and smiling at the little critters bombing it around in the animation that they showed when they revealed them. These Mascots are aimed at children, to encourage the family day out. Unsurprisingly the fact they are aimed at children a no. of “art” critics have been seen slating them on the BBC. I mean come on its ridiculous, its not aimed at you for peets sake! Really makes my blood boil.

Alot of public on the BBC forums have said "why are they doing all this new stuff, why wasn’t it traditional a fluffly lion or something? Wasn’t Berlino the bear great at the world championships, why cant we do that " First off Berlino Bear was great because of the guy in the suit, not the fluffly exterior. Secondly and here is where I think they are going in the right direction they will be memorable. If we achieve this part athmosphere fun day out for the family, coupled with spectaculor sporting achievments (Bolt running under 9.4?) these will provide good talisms and remorable Icons in years to come.

On a side note if you see the chrome models they look fantastic!

^the story

The problem is though Sketchme is that it’s people like me (parents) who make the final decision on buying things like this… if the kids love it or not. For the record my wife did buy the set of Vancouver mascots because they are cute and cuddly and thought the kids would love them.

Time will indeed decide the success of these characters but as a designer I feel they could have still been creative and not be so edgy and going for the acid trip kind of thinking that created the Teletubbies and In The Night Garden… yes, there is a market for that and it is memorable in adults because it is so trippy (I have had many a conversation with friends about them) but does it make them suitable for the purposes of the event… I don’t think so. And no, I do not expect a Big Ben with a face wrapped in a union jack.

The story, I agree is compelling and I was impressed with the origins of the names. The blinking taxi light on the head… not so much. Maybe they would appeal to the toddlers but I think more astute kids will find them pretty lame. Even now my nearly 5 yr old thinks In The Night Garden is lame.

If I were a kid, I would be terrified of these things.

…I think I may still be terrified of them…

-Josh

I think they’re great. For me personally Im getting a bit sick of what seems to be a vast percentage of british people jumping on the “were going to screw it up band wagon”, “isn’t the logo shit, wtf are those mascots?”. I know we tend to be a self depricating bunch and not quite so gung ho as other nations, but I think they are really doing a great job and here is why:

Better get used to this.
In Vancouver, a small number of people loudly complained about the exact same stuff…
The logo looked like Gumby
the mascots looked too anime
the torch looked like a marijuana cigarette
the medals were too wavy
and of course that the whole event was a waste of time and money.

These complaints will get the vast amount of media coverage as it is always more interesting to complain about something.
In Vancouver the naysayers got all the press right up until the games started - and then it turned out that everyone loved the mascots, medals, etc…

The comments from the Guardian story are great:

“Because nothing says “Britain” like a creepy bipedal showerhead/pen*s thing with lobster claws.”

“I, for one, welcome our new one-eyed overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted university researcher I could be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves”

“Why is the blue one wearing a***-less chaps?”

The mascots (which are people dressed in suits) don’t quite show the idea that they are meant to be meade from droplets of steel, like the drawn mascots do. No one mentions Cobi from the 92 games, wasn’t that the most successful mascot ever?

Well… I’m not sure if the topic exist already.
We had a bit of a shared “discussion” about the mascot here at the studio … love or hate it, they are “different”

Not sure what they relate to (a colleague said as soon as you have to start with a deep “explanation” of your design you’re losing already! :laughing: )
… " What the heck is it?" , “They are waaaay out of shape”, “Could make a nice weird toy” were some of the most heard comments

anyone care to share their view?

cheers :mrgreen:
Wenlock and mandeville.jpg

These Olympic mascots (and any other mascots) are often big money makers. But honestly, I don’t think these odd-looking one-eye aliens are going to be very popular. Being metallic and oddly shaped, they are not as plush friendly as those Vancouver and Beijing mascots. What’s interesting is that I heard they were designed by kids.

You can get very mean with the comments too: if their eyeballs are the size of their heads, where are their brains?

Looking at these renderings, they make more sense. Given all the money that goes into the Olympic events, the best they had was a silver fabric, and not some sort of metallic painted vinyl to replicate what’s here in the rendering?

there is allready a topic on this…

But yes they do look fantasic in their chrome. They showed a model of them and seeing them all shiney was fantastic. Unfortunately I can’t find an image of them

I think they’re vile, overdesigned, you always get ‘design by comittee’ for these types of events and it never works. (IMHO)
Most of us Londoners aren’t impressed at all.

ETA someone just sent me this (NSFW)

http://www.b3tards.com/v/73316ee459e27863bec3/olympic.jpg

big LOL

I find them pretentious and not particularly in the spirit of the games… these are not ‘accessible to all’. There is a time to be cool and edgy, the Olympic mascot IMHO isn’t one of those times.

  1. I prefer World Cup Willie.

  2. I liked all the designed stuff from Vancouver, even though I hated the idea of having the games. The torch kicked butt, the medals were original (but kinda ugly…I give them a B for effort).

  3. I watched the video. Is it wrong that I kept waiting for George to be killed and reincarnated as the mascots? I think this is a big FAIL. They are completely forgettable because they don’t come from anywhere.

I still remember Sam the Eagle from '84. I had a stuffed one as a 6 year old. I loved it.

  1. An effed out rainbow LSD trip video does not make something creative or good. This a complete creative cop out, just taking elements from all the effed out cartoons of recent years.

That brings me to everything that I’ve seen from this '12 Olympics. Everything is effed out xerox copies of crappy work. I was really hoping that this Olympics was going to be cool britannia, but instead its warmed over Hollywood meets first year graphic design.

I think many of us, and especially in groups, tend to want so badly to make things different, that we forget to make them better. I’d rather go with something beautiful and tieless, but that is me. There have been some amazingly majestic Olympic campaigns, but it seems no one does those anymore.

t1000.jpg

I agree Cobi was the best, so simple.

Our mascots remind me of the kind of shoe design project I’d do in my first year, when I didn’t know any better - a buckle, a strap, some laces, a fancy heel, too much detail, too much going on, too many mixed messages. it’s as if 20 people had input and they all got to ‘add’ one feature.

@greenman, Lol thats not far off, just needs a taxi light in his head.

I’ll admit there are elements of the mascots that dont quite work or marry together, the one looking a bit sinister is odd, the graphics on them don’t quite work, the blue’s one lighting bolt style haircut but I just don’t think they are as diabolical as everyone is making out.

  1. I watched the video. Is it wrong that I kept waiting for George to be killed and reincarnated as the mascots? I think this is a big FAIL. They are completely forgettable because they don’t come from anywhere.

Don’t quite agree here, so the two critter’s arent visually steeped in british history. I imagine these guys popping up all over the place, on the net and TV, especially over BBC adverts causing some mischeive. We have something similar with Dr. Who at the moment where cartoon illustrations pop up at the end of credits of programs telling you what time thier show is coming on (you hae a darlek chasing the dr etc…), which are quite funny and done tastefully. If they employ that strategy they won’t be completly forgettable.


Keep calm and carry on, the games are going to be great, one massive party with some great sport!

Sketchme

(possibly the only optimistic british person :p)

sketchme: I’m optimistic about Britain. I was googling for inspiration the other day. Tap these in the image search, “Manchester architecture”. What pops up is 80% beautiful recent (last 10-20 years) architecture that is both international and British. The other 20% is the stodgy old “World Cup Willie” architecture.

That’s what excited me about this London 2012. So much great design is being done in Britain. I consider it, quietly, the most important European nation for design. Lotus, Jag, Dyson and a bunch of others that I can’t think of. It reminds me a lot of the US. Great design with only a few star designers.

On the other hand, tap in “montreal architecture”. Lots of stodgy old stuff and really great '60s and '70s architecture, but not a whole lot of recent stuff. That’s why I worried about Canada hosting the Winter Olympics and why I was pleasantly surprised how well we (or they in the language of the Quebecois) managed to pull it off.

Not my view but someone on some comments, can’t remember where, said that these things were a coded message, the mascots represented the masons single eye as the sign of the antichrist and that the rainbows they were sliding in on were the horns of baphomet.
Personally, they just seem like spaceage, aerodynamic, teletubbies on drugs.