Milton Glaser Ranks Every Olympics Logo

Every Olympic Games gets a new logo to accompany the famous 5-ring Olympics logo. With each logo taking on the spirit of that games’ season and city identity, there are a many factors that go into the design. Some logos fare better than others. It is a tough mountain to climb as a designer to try and boil down a mark which has to stand for so much and for so many people.

Some folks are more vocal about what they like or dislike about each city’s take. But nobody can tell it like Milton Glaser, the guy who gave us “I <3 NY.” Glaser gives his praise, disappointment and design-criticism-gold of every single Olympic logo in a new AIGA article. You can see Glaser’s official scores in that post, but here are some highlights:

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“Nevertheless the mark is professional and clear. Perhaps more appropriate for a manufacturer of paper towels.” — 1976 summer games, Montreal

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“A curious solution that looks like a travel brochure cover.” — 1948 winter games, St. Moritz

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“Not very successful.” — 1980 summer games, Moscow

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“… the feeling remains that the attempt is too clever for its own good.” — 1996 summer games, Atlanta

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“On the other hand, there is a visual excitement here.” — 1968 summer games, Mexico

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“A visual disaster” — 1932 summer games, Los Angeles

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“…a relationship to technology is insufficient.” — 2006 winter games, Torino

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“As an assembly of forms, I find it unattractive.” — 2012 summer games, London

Specifically on snowflake logos:

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“This may not be attainable, but the mark is well executed and professional.” — 2002 winter games, Salt Lake City

“Unfortunately the resulting form looks more Islamic than Olympic.” — 1988 winter games, Calgary

“…we are puzzled by the peculiar construction of the snowflake and wonder about its meaning.” — 1984 winter games, Sarajevo