Row over 'identical' logo for Glasgow Commonwealth Games
CONCERNS have been raised over the Glasgow Commonwealth Games logo after it emerged that the company behind it created an almost identical design for another group three years ago.
• TCG logo and Games design
The new branding for the Games, which cost organisers 95,000, was launched amid a fanfare on Monday and is said to represent the unique aspects of the historic event.
But The Scotsman has learned the Glasgow-based design firm Marque created an almost identical logo for the city's arts group The Common Guild in 2007. Both works feature concentric circles with the letter G.
Presented with the claims last night, Games organisers insisted their new logo was an "original piece of artwork".
But MSPs claimed that the hefty 95,000 price tag should have resulted in a more original image.
Glasgow Tory MSP Bill Aitken said he would be raising the issue with Games organisers due to the obvious similarities between the two designs.
He said: "I find it surprising that the logo designers came up with something so similar. I would be interested if someone could explain the exact differences between this logo and the previous design by this same company.
"It is an attractive logo, but at 95,000, I think it should be."
Lothians independent MSP Margo MacDonald was shocked at the similarities between the logos. She said: "At a cost of 95,000, I do hope we don't have an old logo for the Commonwealth Games.
"I know that when the SNP designed their iconic logo back in the Sixties, it cost them about 12. That would seem to be about the right price. The company that provided this logo deserve a medal for their entrepreneurial flair."
Branding experts said there were obvious similarities between the two logos.
Craig McGill, from online brand consultant Contently-managed.com, said it was a "disgrace" so much had been spent on a logo so similar to an earlier design.
He said: "Almost 100,000 is a lot of money to pay for what appears to be a second-hand logo. If the organisers knew that this logo was already out there, why did they spend so much on one that was so similar. If they didn't know, that is a major cock-up on their part.
"On the face of it, they do appear to be very alike. They both have the concentric circles, the letters, the lines. They are virtually identical, apart from the colour."
However, Susanna Freedman, from Edinburgh brand agency Tsuko, said: "There are similarities between these two identities just as I'm sure there are similarities between many identities in the marketplace. It is possible for inspiration from different places to drive a similar creative outcome."
Games organisers admitted the logos were similar, but they were adamant last night that their logo was value for money.
A spokeswoman said: "The Glasgow 2014 logo is an original piece of art work that is rooted in sport: time, data and measurement, with a 'G' for Glasgow at the heart of the logo, as it is the heart of the Games.
"Whilst it does bear a similarity to The Common Guild logo – which is based around its initials, T, C and G – the Glasgow 2014 brand went through very rigorous testing against existing trademarks and brands. We believe there will be no issues arising from any similarity.
The logo consists of four circles which represent different aspects of the Games. It is based around four numbers associated with the Games – the 20th time the Games have been held, the 17 sports represented, the 11 days of the competition and one host city. The second ring is precisely 17/20ths of the size of the full outer circle, and the third ring is 11/20ths of the size.
At the heart of the logo is the letter G standing for the host city. It was designed by Marque Creative, which was chosen from 66 contenders.
On Monday, John Scott, chief executive of Glasgow 2014 Ltd, praised the new design's "fun and flexibility", while Mark Noe, managing director of Marque, said he hoped the logo would become an "iconic symbol".
The Scottish Government insisted the choice of logo was not their decision. But a spokeswoman added: "We do believe that it is an image which will inspire our sportsmen and women."
Nobody was available for comment at Marque or The Common Guild last night.
How to spot the difference between Games and Guild logos
COMMONWEALTH Games organisers last night outlined a series of major differences that set their logo apart from The Common Guild logo.
Here's their "spot the difference" guide to the two designs:
GLASGOW 2014 LOGO
• A single character logo (G) for Glasgow.
• It is not a stand alone marque, it will be supported by the Commonwealth Games Federation bar and Glasgow 2014 typography.
• Conceived primarily as a full-colour logo, with many other versions to follow over the next four years.
• The width of the lines are the same as the proportions of CGF bar and much thicker than the Common Guild logo.
• Flat/square terminal ends.
• Cap G's proportions are governed by the fractions derived from the outer circle (as are the other concentric lines).
• G stem finishes exactly in the middle of the design.
• Tight spacing between concentric lines, to emphasise the similarity to a running track.
THE COMMON GUILD LOGO
• Three-character monogram – T/C/G – based on the initials of the organisation.
• Conceived as a standalone monogram – ie no flexibility, single colour.
• Lines are very fine and light.
• Rounded terminals on line ends.
• Bespoke "G" with shortened stem.
• Strong vertical bar of T goes through the middle of the marque.
• Always seen as a single colour.
• Logo can be used as an embossed/stamped/overprinted device to emphasise connection to artists and design.
• Concept is based on artist's chalk print.
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