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Make the Olympic Logo Bigger

2010 Olympic Logo on Whistler Peak, Canada, September 2008

While resting at the top of Whistler Peak a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but notice how good the Vancouver 2010 Olympic logo looked as a 15 foot statue. Good enough to try to put in my pocket and take with me... although a two-ton pile of rock may be hard to strap on the car roof and drive down the Sea to Sky Highway to Seattle without dramatic consequences.

Back at home, staring at my photo of this gigantic logo -- especially after spending this week working with my designers on a bunch of fun logo concepts -- made me think about how the process of great logo development is often comparable to stone carving, though initially at a very small scale. You bring out the raw material from your sketchbook and pare away at a tiny rendering within the computer, chipping away at an idea until the unnecessary elements fall away to reveal something meaningful. In that organic, poetic process, even the cast-off shavings can be formed into compelling designs. Various half-ideas fuse into new wholes.

But after all of that work, you make the logo bigger. Much bigger. If you can't blow your logo up to fifteen feet scale, then stand back and feel like you want to grasp it in your hand, you probably haven't fulfilled your task to a level of great satisfaction.


Jason B

Interesting - kind of the opposite problem if you're working with sound. Most engineers will mix loud, so it's important to re-listen at low volume - that dub bass that sounded so chunky and embracing at "10" will muffle the rest of the song at "1." Takeaway I guess is to assume that the perspective you're working under is not the one that your audience will consume it.

Joe Bidwell

Good analogy by Jason B. As a former engineer I can confirm that we never turned anything down, just up. The best test for a good mix was to listen at 6AM the next day. I think that's a good way to test a logo design, too.

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