Steve Linnell finally gets the credit he deserves.


What’s worse than being given the opportunity to create the logo for such a huge event as the Olympics, then having it criticised by every ‘armchair athlete’ in the world? How about designing a series of well received logos for the Commonwealth Games only for someone else to get all the credit? British illustrator Steve linnell takes up the story…

Olympics London 2012 are over and the Paralympics due to start, and 10 years ago almost to the day Manchester held the Commonwealth Games (2002) although it doesn’t seem that long ago. Prior to this I was asked to work on the logos by The Drawing Board, an agency I hadn’t worked for before but I was lucky enough to get my folio in on the right day!
Several months later I had drawn (on paper) and inked up, a variety of designs including the main logo and the 20 icons for each event and many designs for a mascot to represent Manchester.
This began my first introduction to the Apple Mac! As each image inked on paper was then scanned and transformed into an Illustrator file using a plug in called Streamline which is now a standard function in Illustrator. My brief was to be inspired by the celebratory pose of arms raised to create the M for Manchester, which is in the main Logo but was impossible to achieve sensibly in the individual logos for each event. This was resolved by keeping the style and the symbolic victory moment. This was far easier to achieve than the designs for the Australian Olympic symbols which had to incorporate a boomerang in each!
The mascot for the games strangely enough turned out to be a beaten up alley cat wearing an Armani suit and trainers created by a lecturer at Manchester College of Art .although other ideas had ranged from Bees to a Lara Croft figure, all of which I visualised .

Luckily my illustrations did not suffer the derision of the London 2012 logo but as I was the anonymous freelancer who produced them no one was aware of my existence as the agency handling the project changed to the Love Agency after they had been produced and they got all the credit and plaudits! But at least I can say I did them!”

And now, at last, we all know.


Categories: Steve Linnell