Olympic rings at London St Pancras station
Olympic rings at London St Pancras station
A view from Peter Knapp

Tower Bridge Olympic display shows creativity has abandoned London 2012

Peter Knapp, executive creative director, Europe and Middle East, Landor Associates, argues that hanging the Olympic rings from Tower Bridge will cheapen the Games.

So hanging the Olympic rings from Tower Bridge seems like a nice idea doesn’t it?

Actually, it is a truly awful decision and let me tell you why. When the Games came to London we were promised that they would be infused with a different attitude and, for a short while, this promised was delivered, most evidently by the contentiousness of the logo.

A brave move to strike out and demonstrate the audacious design spirit of one of leading cities of the design world. But now have we managed to degrade this approach to hanging the IOC logo within a tourist site like a cheap picture postcard. When did creativity evacuate London 2012? Can we expect a similar approach yielding pictures of the Queen in a tracksuit or Beefeaters hurdling in the Tower?

If this is the moment the Cultural Olympiad is brought to town surely we can do better than ‘decorate a famous building with a big logo’? The Olympics used to be defined by ‘faster, higher, stronger’. Shouldn’t that be our ambition when demonstrating that London is the leading city of design and innovation?

We need to make sure we win gold in the cultural Olympiad and not fall at the first hurdle. As a proud Londoner I sincerely hope we can live up to, and beyond, the billing that Lord Coe and team broadly promised. Let’s avoid the regular Olympic clichés and make this memorable for sporting and creative success.