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Fifty years ago, the world was re-introduced to Mexico through their hosting of the Games of the XIX Olympiad. Determined to establish Mexico’s identity on its own terms, the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XIX Olympiad, led by Pedro Ramírez Vazquez, created the Department of Publications and Urban Design to integrate various aspects of design and communication related to the XIX Olympiad with the vibrant colors and culture of Mexico.
The posters displayed represent several aspects of the design and visual identity of those games. There were three elements to the logo – Olympiad, 1968, Mexico. Lance Wyman, graphic designer, and Eduardo Terrazas, architect & painter, brought those elements together based on the Olympic rings; 1968; and geometric shape reminiscent of the Huichols, indigenous people of Mexico. It was an optical motif, which intertwined seamlessly with the Op Art design of the 1960s. The Olympic Games has not seen such a powerful emblem since 1968. The logo is now an icon.
While the core identity of the 1968 Olympic Games was the Mexico 68 logo, the design team continued to introduce elements that reinforced the Olympic spirit and the history and hospitality of the host city. Posters, signage and the integration of the concentric patterns of the Olympic design elements at event venues, plazas and access areas brought the Organizing Committee’s goal to fruition. There was uniform visual identity to welcome the world and communicate to a multilingual audience.
In addition, displayed are posters portraying sports included in those Games and pieces representing the Cultural Olympiad, The Cultural Olympiad was a year-long program that joined art and sport and fostered goodwill and respect amount the participating countries. Many of these posters were created by David Palladini, illustrator, reflective of Op Art while mindful of Mexico’s cultural history.
The images above are part of, Mexico on its Own Terms, an LA84 Foundation original exhibition now on view by appointment only in the Foundation’s Library and Pavilion. The exhibition features original posters and artifacts. To make an appointment to see the show, please contact us at: 323-730-4600.