08.11.16
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Passing the Torch


On this episode, Michael and Jessica talk about Olympic design and designers, from Lance Wyman (Mexico City, 1968) and Otl Aicher (Munich, 1972) to the Wolff Olins logo for the London games, the subject of widespread mockery (as well as Adrian Shaughnessy’s piece for Design Observer, The 2012 Olympics Logo Ate My Hamster).

What image will define the 2016 Rio Games: The sinuous logo?

The beach bikes at the opening ceremonies? Or Phelps face? Memory doesn’t always obey the brand guidelines, Jessica says:
You just never know what it’s going to be. It’s hard: Designers want to create an iconic memorable, image, but sometimes it’s just not anything we can really control.
Also mentioned: Subscribe to The Observatory on iTunes or your favorite podcast app, or follow Design Observer on Soundcloud.

Posted in: The Observatory


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Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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