Retro Promos

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Olympic History: Sydney 2000 and Salt Lake City 2002


Mascot indecision seems to have swept the games in Sydney and Salt Lake City. Rather than one great mascot, each settled for three mediocre ones. In Sydney, Olly represented the Olympics, Syd represented Sydney and Millie represented the millenium. Each was a native Australian animal. In Salt Lake City we had a hare (Powder), coyote (Copper) and bear (Coal) which supposedly represented different athletic skills: faster, higher and stronger. olympics-sydney utah

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Olympic History: Atlanta 1996


All I have to say about this Olympics is that Izzy (shortened from what is he?) is the worst Olympic mascot ever of all time ever. olympics-atlanta izzy

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Olympic History: Moscow 1980


I wish I knew more about the logo design for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. The logo, seen in the lapel pin in the bottom left of the image below, looks like a skyscraper towering over the Olympic rings.

olympics-moscow 1980

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Olympic History: Munich 1972


The bar was set high by Mexico in 1968, but Otl Aicher and his design team were able to keep pace with some really terrific visual design, seen here in a lapel pen and a set of flower vases.

olympics-munich 72

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Olympic History: Mexico City 1968


The 1968 Mexico City Olympics marked many firsts: first Spanish-speaking host nation, first Latin American host nation, first “Third World” host nation and perhaps the first integrated branding campaign. For their logo, they combined the Op Art currently in vogue with indigenous Huichol paintings. They proceeded to use the design elements to brand everything from bus stops to event schedules to the dresses guides wore. Even today, their work was considered a landmark in design.

olympics-mexico 68


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Olympic History: Tokyo 1964


In some ways, the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 were very similar to this year’s Olympics in Beijing. To some degree, for both countries they Olympics were seen as a coming out party to showcase the economic development of the host country. Arguably, this worked better for Japan, which had experienced remarkable economic development in the 20 years after WWII, but hadn’t yet become the economic threat it would become in the ’80s. For China, already an economic superpower, the Olympics has brought attention to serious environmental problems and political issues. Below, a commemorative medallion from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

olympics-tokyo-64 medallion