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Lesson in Identity

Basel:Swiss Design?
Montreal:Joie de Vivre
Chicago:The Company that was.
Cleveland:From Blue to Red.
Cleveland:The Technology Revolution.
New York:The Master's Voice.
Greensboro;What's a Triad?
Seattle: Rains but Shines

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"The Games must go on."
Avery Brundage, President, International Olympic Committee

Although anyone old enough to remember recalls the Munich Games for the terrorist attack on the Israeli team, for me, Munich was the venue of my first job. Being part of an international design team lead by Otl Aicher, one of Germany's best designers and minds, was one of the most gratifying and exhilerating experiences of my carreer.

I worked there for two years, staying on after the games to design the 564-page official report on the results of the athletic competitions, which consisted of editorial content and the statistics of all the events. For this challenging project, I was called to

  • organize complex content,
  • present statistical information clearly,
  • select the most appropriate and best pictures taken by photographers from around the globe,
  • present related photos to enhance their meaning, and
  • collaborate with translators.

The identity system for the Munich Games, conceived by Otl Aicher, was to project the Germany of 1972 - with a color palette that included light green and blue reflecting the Bavarian sky and landscape. Being my first exposure to a comprehensive identity system, it showed me that

  • standards, such as sizes and colors, are essential to achieve consistency,
  • consistency is not the only measure of quality,
  • quality is the result of hard work and talent, and
  • a talented team will produce a great variety of work within the same framework.

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