I'm here for Team GB's radical new look

Team GB branding
(Image credit: Team GB)

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games are just over a year away, and Britain's Team GB has just unveiled a sharp new look to get us in the mood.  With bespoke typography and a striking combination of contrasting abstract patterns in new variations on iconic colours, it looks iconic but also refreshingly different.

In fact, the success of the identity is thanks to that apparent contradiction. It has the flexibility to be recognisable and traditional on one hand, but also bold and contemporary. (see our pick of the best sports logos of all time for more inspiration).

Revealed by the British Olympic Association in collaboration with Bath-based branding agency Thisaway, Team GB's new identity includes a range of patterns that can be used as general graphic devices, tailored for certain events or brought to life in motion design. They capture the dynamism of the various Olympics sports, as does the bespoke typeface, Team GB Sans, from Lewis McGuffie. They type references Olympics sports, taking inspiration from everything from sports grounds and equipment to athletes’ movements for its bends, curves and arcs.

And while the colour palette clearly references the colours of the British flag, Thisaway pushed "the iconic red, white, and blue as far as we could”, adding a range of unusual alternative shades as well as neutral tones referencing gold, silver, and bronze medals. "Obviously red, white and blue is synonymous with Great Britain, but it’s far from unique, with other competing nations such as France and USA also sporting the same colours. We needed to find a way of refreshing Team GB’s colour palette in a way that is both flexible and ownable," the agency says.

The aim of the new brand identity is to raise Team GB’s profile, not just among the public but crucially among sponsors and commercial partners since the team is commercially funded. Thisaway says it aimed to avoid conveying an elitist idea of sports since it believes "Team GB helps and facilitates ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things." With this in mind, it updated the team slogan from ‘Believe in Extraordinary’  to ‘Everyday Extraordinary’, again aiming to create a more informal impression (although not quite as informal as the hilarious Paris 2024 mascots).

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Joe has been building websites his whole life, and he now runs Corebyte Ltd, a small web development company in Southampton.