London Olympics Logo controversy











Iran objects to the four-year-old logo for the 2012 London Olympics, claiming it resembles the word “Zion” and warning of a possible boycott of the games. The secretary general of Iran’s National Olympic Committee said Iran sent a letter to International Olympic Committee President. The letter claims the 2012 logo spells out “Zion,” a biblical term widely recognized to refer to the city of Jerusalem.

“As Internet documents have proved, using the word Zion in the logo of the 2012 Olympic Games is a disgracing action and against the Olympics’ valuable mottos,” the Iranian government wrote in a letter to the IOC. “There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the Games, especially Iran which abides by commitment to the values and principles.” But the IOC official insisted that the logo “represents the figure 2012, nothing else.”

Besides the general criticizes about the design of the logo, this new controversy provoked after four years it was established. For the design industry, this case shows that designer might need to start taking political impacts into considerations when design a international-wide logo like this. Yet, who knew the figures 2012 would look like a certain word to some people. It’s almost impossible for the designers to foresee this outcome. It is not a good sign that social issues are interfering design, but designers really should consider more carefully.

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