Tuesday, 7 August 2012

citius, altius, fortius

Here is a collection of icons or pictograms designed for the different venues of the 1968 summer competition. This set of symbols made for the host Ciudad de México established an international standard that’s prevaded all sorts of gatherings, pointing the way and demarcating usage. I wonder if, given an expansive palette and canvas and absent the potential babel of diplomacy, language would have gone retrograde with such expressions and signs and would have invented or re-purposed them even if the need was not there. Most platforms, real and virtual, have liberal margins and encoding and masking is not necessary but logos are still invented and postal and area codes are as much identifiers as the localities that they stand for. The capacity for meaning to remain recognizable and immediately intelligible while curling in on itself, I think, is a hallmark of good and enduring design.