VANCOUVER 2010 WINTER OLYMPICS | THE LOOK OF THE GAMES :: LEO OBSTBAUM on THE 3 LAYERS OF THE IDENTITY

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LEO OBSTBAUM IN SHIFT ON THE VISUAL IDENTITY OF THE 2001 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS >

The identity is based on three layers. The base is made with colours and shapes that represent Vancouver and Whistler in way that captures its dynamics, dimension, youthfulness and progressiveness.

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The second layer is made of illustrations that come from our urban and natural environments and our many cultures. All of them live in the same canvas…that’s Canada. The style had to be organic, and everything was originally designed by hand with ink to contrast with the clean and sleek base of the illustration.

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The third layer is full of whimsical images of unexpected “everyday” Canadian things – an electrical pole that transform into a tree, a float plane with dragon fly wings, a fire hydrant attached to an umbrella…These fantastical illustrations provide a fresh image of Canada, and capture a bit of our sense of humour and playfulness. We illustrated these in silhouettes in a vector style, so they felt modern and contemporary. All together, the three layers can be combined and cropped in infinite ways. The final crops will be unique for every application, yet integrated. With every application, we can tell a different story within a bigger story.

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I have studied past Olympic design a lot, and I am amazed, knowing the amount of things that we are doing, how they did the same back in the sixties without our current technology and production.

From Mexico to Munich, from Los Angeles to Montreal to Barcelona, from Nagano to Torino, and finally Beijing, the work of past design directors is exceptional.

I have a mixed style that combines rationalist and pop culture, and I think that this is what we will see here with Vancouver 2010. In all the past Games there is cohesive design, and they all reflect the city where the Games where held, and also to the moment in history.

There is the psychedelic aspect of Munich 72, op art in Mexico 68, futurism in Torino, and the era of 100% Catalan design in Barcelona. They all did a great job, and it is a privilege for us to be a part of the tradition of Olympic design.

When I was in Barcelona in 1992, there was an Olympic design exhibition that seized hold of me, and I knew then where I wanted to be in the future. Like so many designers, I was very interested in the Games as a design platform.

– Leo Obstbaum in SHIFT | PEOPLE | LEO OBSTBAUM

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APPLE COMPUTER SPONSORS OLYMPICS DESIGN EXHIBITION PARIS, July 15 /PRNewswire/ — Apple Computer Europe today announced its sponsorship of a significant design exhibition organized by COOB ’92 and the Olimpiada Cultural, the entity responsible for Barcelona’s programme of cultural activities surrounding the Olympic Games of 1992. The exhibition, called “El Disseny Olimpic” (Catalan for ‘Olympic Design’) will run from July 15 – Aug. 9, 1992.

VANOC Brand Director, Ali Gardner, and Leo Obstbaum reveal 2010 identity system

Photo: Fany Xui/The Epoch Times

The Brand & Creative Services team is co-managed by Ali Gardiner and me. Ali is the quintessential Canadian – she is half Scottish and half Japanese, and she speaks English and French. We manage a team of 24 people. They come from graphic design firms, broadcasting, the arts world, media, music, marketing and advertising, and we have an Olympic athlete as well. Our studio has a great mix of people. The majority are Canadian, but they come from different parts of the country and represent the cultural diversity that is so common to Canada.

We traveled around the city as “tourists”, and spent many hours in libraries, galleries, stores, and any other place that might provide us with ideas and inspiration. We wanted to find what it was that most unique about Vancouver, Whistler and Canada, not just at a macro level, but also at a micro level. We searched for everything that was uniquely Canadian.

We opened a blog where every day we posted images and ideas, and we covered our walls with hundreds of images, concepts.

Leo Obstbaum, the designer behind Vancouvers 2010 Olympic medals, has died suddenly Thursday at the age of 40.

click the screenshot below to watch Transmoflection:

THE VANCOUVER 2010 WINTER OLYMPICS SUITE

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