• Dmhero

    Barber Osgerby: Olympic Torch

Graphic Design

Barber Osgerby's Olympic Torch wins 2012 Designs of the Year crown at Design Museum ceremony

Posted by Rob Alderson,

In this Olympic year it was always going to be a hot favourite and sure enough Barber Osgerby’s Olympic Torch won the coveted Design of Year, it was announced tonight.

The Hackney-based duo beat off stiff competition from 89 others to take the title, and with less than 100 days to go until London 2012 there was another boost with the Veolodrome taking the category prize for architecture.

The judging panel liked the way the torch married the demanding design challenges in the brief, i.e needing to be durable but lightweight, protective of the flame but safe to carry, with its stylish look. The torch has 8,000 perforated holes representing the 8,000 runners who will carry it around the UK before it arrives in London.

Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic said: “Nothing is harder to get right than designing for the Olympics. The lightness and simplicity of Barber Osgerby’s London 2012 Olympic Torch does just that. The torch not only captures the spirit of London as Olympic host city but also demonstrates how design can celebrate traditional ideas in a modern way.”

Seb Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games was thrilled as well. "I am delighted we have such a brilliantly designed, engineered and crafted Torch that will help to celebrate the amazing personal achievements of each of our 8,000 Torchbearers and give them their moment to shine. It is also fantastic news that the stunning architecture of the London 2012 Velodrome has won an award and welcome recognition of the landmark new buildings the Games are bringing to London.”

  • Dm_mg_1438

    Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby with the torch at the Design Museum exhibition

  • Dmfinal_double_3rd_version_2

    Barber Osgerby: Olympic Torch (Overall and Product category winner)

  • Dmvelo

    Hopkins Architects: The Olympic Velodrome (Architecture category winner)

  • Dmvelo2

    Hopkins Architects: The Olympic Velodrome (Architecture category winner)

The Velodrome was chosen ahead of Assemble’s wonderful Folly for a Flyover and Ro&Ad’s Moses Bridge as well as more mainstream competitors like Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House.

The Graphic Award went the multi-lingual adjustable Nokia Pure font by daalton mag, chosen ahead of The Comedy Carpet and Noma Bar’s Cut it Out, and Issey Miyake’s 132.5 collection grabbed the fashion prize ahead of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress among others.

There was celebration at the RCA as graduate Kihyun Kim took the furniture prize for his balsa wood 1.3 Chair, and the college’s Helen Hamlyn Centre’s super-efficient redesign of London Ambulances was honoured in the transport category.

In a strong digital category the subway station scannable Tesco store, The Guardian iPad app, Tim Moore’s Letter to Jane, the new BBC.co.uk homepage and UVA’s High Arctic installation were among those to get pipped by Microsoft’s Kinect technology for Xbox.

Debate as to the rights and wrongs of the jury’s selection are sure to rage over the coming days and it will be interesting too see whether such a high-profile winner makes the mainstream media more likely to sit up and take notice of the awards as a whole, and the strength of design in this country in particular.

The winning designs are on show at the Design Museum until July 4.

  • Dmnokiapure_fluoro-634

    Daalton Maag: Nokia Pure Font (Graphic category winner)

  • Dmnokiapure_black-634

    Daalton Maag: Nokia Pure Font (Graphic category winner)

  • Dmnokiapure_gold-634

    Daalton Maag: Nokia Pure Font (Graphic category winner)

  • Dm03_-photo-by-nicola-tree

    Kihyun Kim: 1.3 Chair (Furniture category winner)

  • Dm1325-issey-miyake-1

    Issey Miyake: 132.5 collection (fashion category winner)

  • Dmtim-saunders-and-helen-hamlyn-centre-for-design

    Helen Hamlyn Centre: London Ambulance redesign (transport category winner)


Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Fashion View Archive

  1. List

    If a theatrical tradition can last for over four centuries you can assume it’s pretty damn entertaining, and Japan’s Kabuki culture has done just that. It’s one of the country’s traditional performing arts, combining music, dance, elaborate costumes and striking face paint to riotous effect, with extremely dramatic results.

  2. David-james-uma-thurman-int-list

    Lucien Freud, Kate Moss, Joaquin Phoenix…it reads like that list of dream dinner party guests you have to reel out in awkward “getting to know you" games. But it’s more than that: this all-star list is just a sliver of the cast that creative director David James has worked with over the years. David has been creative director at AnOther Magazine for the past decade, creating iconic images with photographers including Craig McDean, Willy Vanderperre and Nick Knight. If you missed out on getting the mags IRL, don’t fret: today sees the launch of Everything that Matters – an online retrospective of David’s editorial work. It makes for a lovely little scroll, even if it does make us feel pretty old to think that the time that’s passed since 2005 is retrospective-worthy.

  3. Prada-int-list-4

    Large-scale luxury brands tend to be fairly guarded when it comes to their extensive archives, guarding them under the technological equivalent of those two cheeky goblins in Labyrinth. Not Prada. Recognising the truth in the notion that sharing is caring, the house has just published the whole of its archive online, in a carefully tailored site which makes it entertaining AND easily navigable.

  4. Mosaert-lookbook-int-list

    If like me you were regularly dragged off to your local Olan Mills photographic studio as a child to have family portraits taken of you and your siblings looking unusually clean and composed in front of a dappled background, you might be similarly drawn to Mosaert’s new lookbook. Carefully constructed like the most stylish family pics, they feature a whole bunch of models immaculately robed in Mosaert’s bright new collection, and there’s something innately compelling about them.

  5. Kenzo-ss15-list-int

    If you thought that writing a Printed Pages feature about KENZO – in which I delve in glorious technicolour detail into the brand’s past collaborations over the course of a 12-page spread – would stop my perpetual blathering on about them, then I’m afraid you thought wrong. It’s a new season, meaning a whole new visual campaign, and as ever I’m incapable of reining in my admiration for the masterminds behind KENZO’s art direction.

  6. List

    Assistant editor Maisie Skidmore chimes in on the debate about the presence of full-frontal male nudity in Rick Owens’ AW15 collection which showed in Paris a few days ago. Do you think penises on the catwalk are a step too far? Leave your comments below!

  7. List

    We’ve a certain bias towards French creative studio Bonsoir Paris. We’ve collaborated with them on projects in Milan, been stunned by their window displays at Selfridges at the start of the year and then they shot the cover of the Autumn issue of Printed Pages, firmly cementing our love for them forever more. It’s their restless experimentation that makes them so interesting; for a group of three guys their ability to push materials in new and exciting directions is unparalleled and they bring fresh perspectives to materials we’ve seen used a thousand times before.

  8. List

    I have to confess that the name 02gb didn’t ring any bells for me, but it turns out the photographic duo, which is made up of Max von Gumppenberg and Patrick Bienert, is a pretty big fish on the German fashion scene. Looking through their portfolio this comes as no surprise; they’ve worked for the likes of Hussein Chalayan, Kostas Murkudis, and shot numerous times for Vogue. It’s their lookbook for couture master Valentino that we were seduced by however.

  9. 4list.-charles-jourdan_-spring-1976-%c2%a9-guy-bourdin

    In the summer of 1979, several legs boarded a ferry travelling from Dieppe to Plymouth. However unlike most other legs making the journey, these didn’t have any feeling in their toes.

  10. List

    If you’re yet to be acquainted with the weird and wonderful world of Toiletpaper then allow us to introduce you. Artist Maurizio Cattelan, photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari and art director Micol Talso got together some years back to create images which distilled their passion for the bizarre, the grotesque, the darkly humorous and the sensual. From this came Toiletpaper Magazine, and before long their work had spread across the fashion and art industries like wildfire, picking up the attention of a number of big-time brands along the way. No surprises there.

  11. List

    Fashion editorials aren’t always a straightforward point-and-shoot affair any more, very often now when we look through a designer’s clothes – be it in a specially created lookbook or a spread in a magazine – we want a story, visual impact and pizazz. This demand has resulted in many brilliant amalgamations of ideas between designers, photographers and stylists and I for one am all for this type of collaboration.

  12. List

    Most of merely dabble in the world of fashion and recycle what little knowledge we have by saying phrases like “yah that’s so hot right now.” But recycle no more as SHOWstudio will be your fashion education forevermore.

  13. List

    Only good things can happen when designer Leta Sobierajski gets together with online platform Print All Over Me (PAOM) to create this fantastic series of images for their website and lookbook.