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What is happening to design in England? The two huge events of 2012 – the Summer Olympics and the Royal Jubilee – have generated some of the most horrific design imaginable. First, there’s the Olympic logo, which beside being hard to read and just plain ugly, appears to some people to spell out the word “ZION,” leading to threats of a boycott by some Muslim nations. Then there are the mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, who are meant to represent drops of steel with cameras for eyes, but who appear to audiences more like aliens, huge surveillance cameras or, alas, sex toys. And finally there’s the logo for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which was apparently created by an eight-year-old with four coloured pencils.
Apparently the Olympic logo was created to appeal to young people. The Olympic mascots are traditionally aimed at children, and clearly the jubilee logo is meant to be child-like and whimsical. Is this what we think of our children’s artistic taste? Are bright colours now a substitute for good design? What were they thinking?