Virus Fonts presents Olympukes 2012
I’ve always been a fan of Otl Aicher’s designs for the 1972 Munich Olympics, particularly his iconography system. A design system that resonates so strongly is bound to inspire parody, however – enter Virus Fonts, re-examining the set for the 2012 London Olympics.
In 2004 Jon Barnbrook’s foundry VirusFonts reinterpreted the Olympic pictogram in a series of designs that “acknowledged the complex contradictions of the modern Olympics.” Launching today, a new range of Olympukes symbols has been created to reflect on London 2012…
“The occasion of the London 2012 games gives us an opportunity to revisit this concept,” say the studio on their blog, “not only because VirusFonts is based in London but also much has changed globally in the last eight years.”
- from Creative Review
The 2012 games come at a time of great economic and political uncertainty. Since 2008 the global economic system has lurched from one crisis to the next; Greece – the host of the 2004 games – now sits at the epicentre of a crumbling Eurozone. Ironically, the last time London hosted the Olympics, they were nicknamed the Austerity Games. Sixty-four years later, we find ourselves back in an era of austere cuts which serves to highlight the absurd expense of the 2012 games. Another aspect of the Olympics that is back for 2012 is the unfettered commercialism – if you think the games are about sport alone, think again. In Beijing we took it for granted that a dictatorial one-party state would suppress human rights in order to deliver the perfect games. What was a little more unexpected is the excessive security measures due to be employed by a supposedly liberal democracy. But then again, in a country with an estimated 1.8 million cctv cameras, maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised.
- from Virus Fonts
The entire set is a great remix of the Olympic-style graphics we have all come to know and love, a playful yet pointed indictment of the crass commercialization and over-policing that we have come to expect from the Olympic games.
Countless hours went into researching accurate and thought-provoking stories, presented here in pictogram form. Olympukes 2012 is available in dark and light weights in the multi-platform OpenType format.
Olympukes 2012 is available for free download for personal (non-commercial) use. To download the font, please create an account, then select the Olympukes 2012 non-commercial purchasing option and follow the normal checkout process.