London 2012 Olympic Torch by BarberOsgerby

London 2012 Olympic Torch by BarberOsgerby

A prototype of the London 2012 Olympic Torch by designers BarberOsgerby was unveiled in London this morning.

London 2012 Olympic Torch by BarberOsgerby

Made from a golden aluminium alloy, the triangular torch will be perforated by 8000 circular holes representing the 8000 torch-bearers to take part in the Olympic relay and allowing glimpses of the burner system inside.

London 2012 Olympic Torch by BarberOsgerby
It will comprise an inner and outer skin, joined by two cast elements at each end.  It will comprise an inner and outer skin, joined by two cast elements at each end.  London 2012 Olympic Torch by BarberOsgerby

It will be 800mm high and weigh 800g.

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London 2012 offers first look at Olympic Torch design

  • Prototype of London 2012 Olympic Torch unveiled, showcasing the best of British design, engineering and manufacturing talent
  • Nominate your Torchbearer at
  • 8,000 perforated circles in the design represent the 8,000 inspirational people who will carry the Olympic Torch
  • The triangular form is inspired by multiples of three found in the vision and delivery of the Games

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today showcases prototypes of the London 2012 Olympic Torch to be carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers.

The 70-day Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung will take the Olympic Flame on an 8,000 mile journey across the UK next summer. From the start point of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay at Land’s End on 19 May 2012 an average of 110 people a day will take centre stage by carrying the Olympic Flame on its journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Earlier this year East London based designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby won the competitive tender run by LOCOG and the Design Council that set the brief to design a Torch that reflects the celebratory nature of the Olympic Torch Relay and the Olympic Games.

The winning design connects the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay to each of the 8,000 Torchbearers and their community. The Torch’s triangular, gold-coloured form is perforated by 8,000 circles representing the 8,000 Torchbearers and their stories of personal achievement and/or contribution to their local community which will be celebrated during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

The design, engineering and manufacture of the Torch celebrates the best of British talent, with designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby working in partnership with Basildon based product engineers Tecosim and Coventry based manufacturers The Premier Group. Together they have developed the prototypes on show today and the processes for the mass production of the Torches that will start later this year.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: ‘The Torch that carries the Olympic Flame during the Olympic Torch Relay is one of the most recognisable and significant symbols of an Olympic Games. Members of the public right across the UK are busy nominating inspiring people to be Torchbearers and I am thrilled we have a beautifully designed, engineered and crafted Torch for them to carry.

‘Integral to the design are the 8,000 circles, a lasting representation of the Torchbearer stories of personal achievement or contribution to their local community that will be showcased with every step of the Relay.’

90% of the 8,000 Torchbearer places will be made available to the public through a number of channels, including the four public nomination campaigns to be run by LOCOG and the three Presenting Partners. The LOCOG ‘Moment to Shine’ public nomination campaign aims to find 2,012 inspirational members of the public to carry the Olympic Flame who have gone beyond their personal best. Nominate your Torchbearer at There will be further opportunities to get involved via the Presenting Partner programmes that launch in June 2011.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, explained: ‘Ever since we were young we have loved the Olympic Games. As designers, this is quite simply the best project going: to design an icon for the Games. We’ve wanted to be involved since July 2005 when we were celebrating winning the bid with the rest of the UK.

‘We have worked hard to develop a Torch that celebrates the Relay, and reflects the passion for London and the Olympic Games. We wanted to make the most of pioneering production technologies and to demonstrate the industrial excellence available in the UK – it's a Torch for our time.

‘This is our opportunity to represent the UK, in design terms, and we are incredibly proud to be doing so.’

Design: The Torch is made up of four key pieces - an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin perforated by 8,000 circles that are held in place by a cast top piece and base.

Representing the inspirational stories of the 8,000 Torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame, the circles which run the length of the body of the Torch also offer a unique level of transparency – allowing people to see right to the heart of the Torch and view the burner system which will keep the Olympic Flame alive. The circles also help ensure heat is quickly dissipated without being conducted down the handle and providing extra grip. London 2012 Partner, BMW, have provided the use of their climatic testing facility for the Torch to be tested.

Shape: The triangular form of the Torch design has been inspired by the identification of multiples of three that are found across the vision and delivery of the Olympic Games:

  • The three Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship;
  • The three words that make the Olympic motto - faster, higher, stronger;
  • The fact the UK has hosted the Olympic Games three times - in 1908, 1948 and 2012;
  • The vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three strands of work - sport, education and culture.

The Torch stands 800mm high.

Weight: The Torch weighs 800g.

Responding to a call in the brief to recognise the fact that more than half of the London 2012 Torchbearers are expected to be young people aged between 12 and 24, several design features have been implemented to produce what will be one of the lighter Olympic Torches. Crafted from an aluminium alloy, developed for the aerospace and automotive industry that is lightweight whilst having good tensile strength and excellent heat resistance, the 8,000 circles also reduce the weight of the final design whilst ensuring strength isn’t compromised.

Colour: The gold colour finish embraces the qualities of the Olympic Flame – the brightness and the warmth of the light that it shines. The 8,000 Torches will have a gold-coloured finish that delivers an aesthetic beauty whilst having the ability to withstand the temperature of the Olympic Flame.

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said: ‘This striking British design celebrates the role each of the 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers will play as local heroes in villages, towns and cities across the UK. The Torch is a focal point for every Olympic Games and London 2012 will be no different with the Torch Relay bringing the UK together as excitement builds ahead of the greatest sporting show on earth.’

Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate and London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Board Member said: 'Elegant, light and understated, the 2012 Olympic Torch shows the flair and confidence of contemporary British design and manufacture.'