Ah, the 2012 Summer Games, now nothing more than the hazy recollection of infinite spoilers and borderline mental illness. While the overall visual presentation wasn’t quite as bad as a lot of people built it up to be (it was certainly better than this bullshit — but not this), London 2012 was an Olympics whose branding I seriously doubt designers will still be going on about 40 years after the fact. Perhaps it was just too advanced for our feeble 21st century minds to comprehend, so to ease us back into our stasis of perpetual nostalgia I present some more universally agreeable fare, from the simpler age of 1976, when everything happening in this picture was perfectly acceptable and also this crudely fashioned chunk of internet-free wood was your computer.
The 1976 Montreal Olympics branding sits right up there with Munich (my personal favorite) and Mexico on the pantheon of graphic design’s greatest achievements. I’m curious to see which of the more recent Olympics — if any — ends up being canonized by the design community in years to come. From the looks of things we shouldn’t hold our collective breath, it’s all been downhill since 1984.
Further reading / viewing here via AisleOne’s Flickr
As evidenced by the various posts I’ve made on the subject, I’m quite fond of all things surrounding the World’s Fair Expositions. So when I found this gem on Ian Henry Smith’s Blog, Smallcano, I was pretty blown away. For someone who has fetishized all manner of official documentation since childhood, seeing an artifact that somehow combines the ideas of a passport and a 60’s-era World’s Fair Expo was pretty much the holy grail. The stamps send this thing over the top; it really doesn’t get any better. And check out the Habitat 67 stamp on the last image! I swear I’m going to get a tattoo of one of these.
According to Ian from Smallcano, he found this thing while “rooting around in [his] parents’ basement”. For me, this is basically the equivalent of those old stories about digging up a cigar box with a Honus Wagner in it. My only gripe is that the images are scans and not photos; scans don’t do objects like this justice. So Ian, if you’re reading this (I found the link through a comment he left here), thanks so much for posting these, but please shoot the passport on a nice wood table or something, a’la Insect54. That is, if you have the time, we’ll all thank you!