Released on the occasion of the 2012 London Olympics, Olympukes 2012 was a new set of pictograms telling the ‘real’ story of the Olympics and extending the unofficial project that began in 2004. The occasion of the London games provided an opportunity to revisit the complex contradictions of the modern Olympics and to acknowledge the geopolitical shifts of the intervening eight years.
The 2012 games arrived at a time of great economic and political uncertainty for the host nation and Europe. Greece – the host of the 2004 games – was now located at Ground Zero of a disintegrating Eurozone and the United Kingdom was two years into a programme of austerity enacted by the coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Given that the previous London Olympics had been held in 1948, in a climate of recovery and austerity after a devastating World War (1948’s Olympiad was dubbed the ‘Austerity Games’) there was a sick irony to the 2012 games’ arrival.
The suppression of human rights in order to deliver the perfect games for PRoC’s Beijing games shocked no-one and yet, in London, the security measures seemed grossly excessive. Then again, in a country with an estimated 1.8 million cctv cameras, perhaps we shouldn’t have been so surprised. Another aspect of the Olympics that returned for 2012 was the unfettered commercialism – if you think the Games are about pure sport, about noble human endeavour, think again.
Please note that Barnbrook Fonts is in no way affiliated with, or has received any endorsement from, the International Olympic Committee, the organising committees of the Olympic Games, or any national Olympic committee.