Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games logo row

Similarities have emerged between new design and previous logo developed by branding company.

The new logo for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has sparked a controversy after it emerged that the company that developed it created a similar logo three years ago.

Branding consultants Marque, the Glasgow-based company that designed the logo at a cost of £95,000 had also designed a logo for The Common Guild, an arts organisation based in the city in 2007.

Like the Glasgow logo, it too features a capital G surrounded by two partial circles within a complete circle.

The Glasgow 2014 logo that was unveiled in the city on Monday also features a capital G at the centre with partial circles around it.

Organisers described the concept behind the logo, saying it is derived from time, data and measurement, with four distinctive parts. The outer ring symbolises the fact that it is the 20th Commonwealth Games, the yellow ring which is 17/20th of the size of the outer red ring symbolises the 17 sports on the programme, the blue ring, which is 11/20th of the size of the circle represents the 11 days of the event, and the G in the centre represents Glasgow, the colour reflecting the Gaelic meaning of the city's name, 'Dear green place.'

With regard the Creative Guild logo, Marque described it on their website by saying: "We aimed to create an identifying mark, which could be stamped, etched or embossed. This would serve to 'authenticate' the diverse range of Common Guild activities: exhibitions and events, including gallery-based exhibitions, non-gallery projects, interventions and collaborations.

"The delicate line-work and application of the logo mark are a direct reference to a printers 'chop marks'."

The Common Guild logo differs from the Glasgow 2014 logo by having a vertical line through the middle and the lines are much finer. Unlike the Glasgow logo - which is primarily intended to be in colour, although with variants in single colours, the Common Guild logo is only ever used in a single colour.

The Common Guild logo is made from a stylised rendering of the letters 'T' 'C' and 'G', while the 2014 logo takes its inspiration from aspects of sport like running tracks, targets and stopwatches. It is also intended to be displayed with the Commonwealth Games Federation bar below it.

A Glasgow 2014 spokesperson said: "The Glasgow 2014 logo is an original piece of art work that is rooted in sport: time, data and measurement, with a "G" for Glasgow at the heart of the logo, as it is the heart of the Games.

"Whilst it does bear a similarity to The Common Guild logo - which is based around its initials, T, C and G - the Glasgow 2014 brand went through very rigorous testing against existing trademarks and brands. We believe there will be no issues arising from any similarity that people might see."

Marque were selected to develop the branding in October last year after 66 companies from around the world expressed an interest. A shortlist of six was selected before Marque was chosen unanimously by the selection panel that included Paul Stickley, the head of visual communication at the Glasgow School of Art, Commonwealth and Olympic athlete Shirley Webb, and two directors from the Glasgow 2014 organising committee.

Having a specific logo for the games is a requirement made by the the Commonwealth Games Federation as part of the contract to the city that wins the bid to host the games. A logo also allows organisers the opportunity to earn additional income from sponsorship and by selling the right to use the logo.

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