Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Munich `72

In the same month that the Olympic flame is passing through Kent, the University of the Creative Arts (UCA) Canterbury campus presents a symposium and exhibition on the design heritage of the Munich Olympics in 1972. The project draws upon Ian McLaren’s collection of relevant material having been a senior member of the design team. The exhibition provides a first hand account of the evolution of the designs and subsequent commercialisation of aspects of the work produced for Munich’72. An accompanying symposium will combine contributions from figures who worked with Aicher alongside respected practicing designers.

The 1972 Munich Olympics is often remembered more for the terrible events when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September. Needless to say, these murders greatly overshadowed the games.

However, the design work led by Otl Aicher was groundbreaking and provided a real legacy which endures and we still see around us today, in particular the pictorial symbols. Here's an extract from the Munich72.org website:

"The colour palette was one of the most significant aspects of the identity. It was based upon the heraldic colours of Bavaria, light blue and white (as used by BMW and the Hofbräuhaus brewery). Aicher chose these, together with the light green of the Bavarian alpine landscape, as the principal elements to provide a light palette (which required bespoke ink formulations). The lightness of colour was reflected in the adoption of a light typeface (Univers 55). The colours in the German national flag were expressly excluded"

The symposium will feature contributions from figures who worked with Aicher, alongside contemporary designers (such as Mason Wells, Lucienne Roberts and Tony Brook, who have a particular interest in the work produced for the '72 Games

The Symposium is next Friday on 29th June at the university's Cragg Lecture Theatre. Seats for this 'free entry' symposium require booking and are limited to 120. Please make your booking asap to ensure your place. Ticket information: Elizabeth Baxter ebaxter@ucreative.ac.uk.

The Exhibition runs from 29 June to 31 July 2012 at UCA Canterbury campus, Herbert Read Gallery. For latest updates: www.facebook.com/M72DesignLegacy

Visual  concept for exhibition and symposium by Baseline Magazine: Hans Dieter Reichert and Johnathon Hunt.

...and thanks to Hans Dieter Reichert, editor at Baseline magazine and one of the organisers, for inviting me the event.

Posted by Justin Hobson 19.06.2012

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