The Torch was designed by east Londoners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who won the opportunity through a competitive tender run by the London 2012 Organising Committee and the Design Council.
Basildon-based product engineers Tecosim, Birmingham-based LPG Gas specialists and manufacturers, Bullfinch and Coventry manufacturers Premier Sheet Metal took the design and moved it into mass production.
In April 2012 the Torch was recognised as the Design of the Year at an awards ceremony hosted by the Design Museum.
Design: an inspirational 8,000
The Torch was made up of an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin, held in place by a cast top piece and base, perforated by 8,000 circles.
Representing the inspirational stories of the 8,000 Torchbearers who carried the Olympic Flame, the circles which ran the length of the body of the Torch also offered a unique level of transparency. You could see right to the heart of the Torch and view the burner system which kept the Olympic Flame alive on its journey around the UK.
The circles also helped ensure heat was quickly dissipated, without being conducted down the handle, and providing extra grip.
The Torch stood 800mm high.
The Torch was tested in BMW’s climatic testing facility in Munich to make sure it could withstand all weather conditions. BMW was a Supporting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
Shape: the power of '3'
The triangular-shaped Torch was inspired by a series of 'threes' that are found in the history of the Olympic Games and the vision for the Olympic Movement:
Weight: as light as possible
- The three Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship;
- The three words that make the Olympic motto – faster, higher, stronger;
- The fact that the UK has hosted the Olympic Games in 1908, 1948 and 2012; and
- The vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three bodies of work – sport, education and culture.
The designers aimed to make the Torch as light as possible.
It was made from an special aluminium alloy developed for the aerospace and automotive industry. The alloy is lightweight but strong, with excellent heat resistance. The 8,000 circles also reduced the weight of the final design, whilst ensuring strength wasn’t compromised. The Torch weighed 800 grams.
The gold colour embraced the qualities of the Olympic Flame – the brightness and the warmth of the light that it shines.