With so much going on in the world—a global pandemic, a presidential election, and movements to achieve racial justice, just to name a few—we’ll forgive you if the unveiling of the logo for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles flew under your radar last month.
As creatives, we geek out on this stuff. In a normal year, the entire design community would be consumed with reactions to an Olympic logo like this. In an effort to find some normalcy and imagine a world where major sporting events still exist—with fans—a few of our talented team members offered their thoughts on this dynamic logo system that utilizes an evolving “A” to represent the styles of various Los Angeles-based athletes and creators, from figure skater Adam Rippon to pop star Billie Eilish.
Great Minds Rarely Agree
“You can try to rationalize the design of any logo, and great designers always have reasons for the choices they make. Ultimately, though, a logo is subjective: You can think it’s smart or clever or appropriate or whatever, but you either like it or you don’t. And I don’t like it. I find it ugly. The font feels clunky and the evolving ‘A’ feels like a copout designed to please everyone. And, frankly, Reese Witherspoon and Billie Eilish et al. aren’t professional graphic designers. I might feel differently if 30 of the city’s top designers had their say.
“Nah. Probably not. I’d still think it’s a copout.”
– Ken Honeywell, Creative Director
“If I had to describe this logo system in one word, it would be ‘impressive.’ Los Angeles is known for its diversity, and this logo really plays on the idea that in L.A. you can be whoever you want to be. It’s an opportunity to create yourself.”
– Alex Pesak, Senior Designer
“I’m a big fan of this. I’ve always loved dynamic logo systems since I first read about them with MTV. Allowing for flexibility and creativity to live within a standardized system is really smart; however, there needs to be a balance of control and flexibility to showcase raw creativity. Much like a science experiment, there needs to be a control to achieve the best results.”
– Brent Smith, Senior Art Director
For anyone interested in diving deeper down that rabbit hole, Brent pointed to this 2015 Medium article from designer Paul Davis for more examples of successful dynamic logo systems.
Associate Creative Director Joe Black’s opinion fell somewhere between Ken’s disdain and the other designers’ enthusiasm.
“The L.A. 2028 Olympics logo is on trend with many other brands who are pushing out adaptable systems for their logo. It’s smart in that it allows flexibility for a lot of different situations, but it also takes a bit of a risk. It needs a lot of good user-generated content for it to be successful. If content for the ‘A’ falls flat, if it’s inappropriate or tone-deaf and gets shared out, then the brand gets tarnished. It’s a tricky balance of letting go of control so it can be owned and embraced by the public while curating the content for the important touchpoints to maintain brand quality.”
– Joe Black, Associate Creative Director
Love it or hate it?
As with most creative ideas, there’s no clear-cut, right or wrong answer. The nice part about the L.A. 2028 logo is it offers something for everyone. If you don’t like the look of it one moment, stick around. You just may dig what the next artist brings to the concept.
Image // SportsLogos.net