Graphic Design Classics: Mexico 1968 Olympics

August 13, 2012

Now that the Olympic Games are over and considering all the controversy that surrounded its looks- let's take some time to look back on one of the most beautifully designed identity in the history of the games. I'm talking about the graphic design and application of the Mexico Olympics in 1968, created by iconic designer Lance Wyman. The whole execution of the event is flawless, the logo is a perfect reflection of the modernist style with its staple curved concentric strokes which would be used for all the other elements that take part of the event's look.

This compilation of photographs by the folks at Graphic Ambient sums it up perfectly, we even get to see some images of the process behind the design that show the old pre-digital era design methods. The real brilliance behind this visual identity resides on the simplicity of the elements that compose the logo and how they could be applied to the rest of the event's iconography, signage and merchandising- even the architecture of the spaces channels this style (how cool is the patterned carpet in the pyramids and stadium!). The Mexican heritage is also a big part of this identity and it's reflected in the use of bold colors and the icons used for the different disciplines and signage are inspired by the ancient style of the Aztec and Mayan codes.

Wyman accomplished to create a very strong character for this event that goes past any trends and right into the graphic design classics. Going beyond the purely visual aspect of the brand, all of the remaining items -such as the signage, memorabilia and decor- share the simplicity of the logo and reflect the craftsmanship behind it. This is pure inspiration of brilliant design that manages to be iconic without being blatantly obvious in their different applications- it manages to be memorable with the use of the most simple elements. This is a lesson to be taken in consideration, there's no need of excessive elements; keeping it simple is the way to create richer things.

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