[via ISO50 blog]
The city of Toronto recently hosted the 2015 PanAm and ParaPanAm games. I admit that I reluctantly fell in love with the event (I’m not a fan of crowds or rampant bootserism) because of all of the arts and cultural events that took place across the city. Townies and tourists alike got to see some provocative theatre, eat Mexican street corn, attend free concerts and explore art from across the Americas.
In between the PanAm and ParaPan events, I found myself in Lausanne, Switzerland at the Olympic Museum. Our tour guide explained that arts and culture were part of the competition in the original Olympiad in ancient Greece as well as the Modern Olympics. In the 1950s the International Olympic Committee voted to stop awarding medals for painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and music.
The spirit of celebrating art and design now lives on in the pageantry of the opening and closing ceremonies and the overall graphic design of the games. I still have fond memories of the look of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. The clean, graphic identity of those games was led by Montréalers Georges Huel and Pierre-Yves Pelletier. And Amik, the abstracted beaver mascot they created, has had an enduring legacy—I saw a guy wearing an Amik t-shirt at one of the PanAm concerts.
At the Olympic Museum I was also happy to discover the amazingly mod looks of the 1968 Mexico Games. Led by Lance Wyman, Beatrice Colle, Jose Luis Ortiz and Jan Stornfeld, the typography and imagery of the event was influenced by Op Art and Pre-Columbian traditions.
[image via: the gradient]
[above images via The Olympic Museum]
It’s this linking to the past that makes all the difference in the look of Mexico 68. In fact, the event itself was historic in calling out colonialism (who can forget Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the Black Power salute on the podium), but also making note to historical changes (Mexico’s Norma Enriqueta Basilio de Sotelo became the first woman to light the Olympic cauldron). And the Tlatelolco Massacre ten days before the start of the games has been called Mexico’s Tiananmen Square.
Much of the design is very much a snapshot of the times—although I would love to bring some of those Hostess dresses back. In fact, I now find myself searching for a few examples of souvenirs from Mexico—I think a pop pink wristwatch or a triangular melamine plate with the exploded Mexico 68 logo.
[via Etsy Seller Mod Longe Vintage]