SomeOne creates the destination brand for Olympia, as the area is redeveloped into ambitious new creative hub

As the historic venue faces transformation, the branding agency has visualised an identity for the redevelopment taking inspiration from its well-known arches.

22 September 2021

First opened in 1886, the Olympia London exhibition centre has played host to Jimi Hendrix, Miss World and London Fashion Week. The space has now received the go-ahead to be redeveloped into a new cultural hub in west London. Including a new theatre, the largest since the National Theatre in 1976, and a large creative studio, among seven other new buildings.

Brand strategy studio SomeOne was brought on board to create both the brand strategy and visual identity for the Olympia destination brand. The branding takes its cues from the iconic arches of the Olympia Exhibition Halls. The ‘Olympia’ wordmark, created with Miles Newlyn, bulges and curves, showcasing Olympia with the form of its arches.

The visual assets of the brand were created under the influence of the ‘O’ for Olympia in collaboration with weareseventeen and 3D artist Ingrid Tsy. weareseventeen developed a series of 3D CGI assets that aim to highlight the multifaceted nature of which the new area hopes to provide, tied together by the encompassing ‘O’ shape. weareseventeen created each asset as a detailed still before making a short looping animation of the still, aiming to encourage a sense of ambience and inject life into the Olympia area which hopes to fill itself with creative newcomers.


SomeOne: Olympia destination branding (Copyright © Olympus Property, 2021)

It was important for SomeOne to create a brand with longevity at its heart because, as David Law, founder of SomeOne, claims: “Brands may come and go – but buildings last.” So they sought to create a brand which is able to adapt and change over time.

The primary typeface, Right Grotesk by Pangram Pangram Foundry, was chosen for its variable nature and multiple weights, meaning it could be manipulated into different visual settings. To induce a sense of spectacle – which is what Olympia was originally built for – the creative team took inspiration from vintage exhibition posters for Olympia which featured contrasting styles, and used now to provide space for emphasis. This contrast motif was carried through to the colour palette: it sees rich, dark tones combined with softer and brighter colours. The team hope that this also gives a sense of light and shadow, promoting the ‘showtime’ motif through a subtle hint to spotlighting.

Law continues that he wants visitors to have “the same sense of excitement and anticipation as a child at a funfair” when experiencing the branding at Olympia. He explains that, since the space has always been a spectacular showcase, “the new destination brand aims to amplify that feeling.” The opening of the newly developed London Olympia is predicted to be in 2024.

GallerySomeOne: Olympia destination branding (Copyright © Olympus Property, 2021)


Olympia London Vintage Exhibition Poster, Courtesy of Olympia London.

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SomeOne: Olympia destination branding (Copyright © Olympus Property, 2021)

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About the Author

Dalia Al-Dujaili

Dalia is a freelance writer, producer and editor based in London. She’s currently the digital editor of Azeema, and the editor-in-chief of The Road to Nowhere Magazine. Previously, she was news writer at It’s Nice That, after graduating in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh.

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