Squaw Valley 1960 – Emblem

Designer: James C. Knollin


More than 600 designs were submitted to the emblem design competition held by the organisers. The winner was James Charles Knollin, owner of Knollin Advertising in San Francisco. His emblem consists of three equally sized, overlapping, flat triangles that together form a six-armed snow crystal. The light blue basic triangle with the Olympic rings symbolises a roof or hostel of these Olympic Games. Around the snow crystal it reads in capitals “VIII Olympic Winter Games, 1960, California”. This emblem exists in very different versions: one, two, three and four-coloured on a white or coloured background, with or without text. One of the main reasons for the jury to choose this design was its flexibility: the emblem can be used in reduced sizes for labels, buttons and badges as well as large format for decorations at sports facilities. Hundreds of requests to use the emblem prompted the Organising Committee to create a small design manual that explains how to use the emblem – probably the first design manual to be used at the Olympic Games. 5,000 of these sheets with the design manual were distributed to advertising agencies and companies. Another symbol with the same basic element (flat triangle) was used for the emblem of the Olympic Village, with 1960, the year of the Games, behind it. The basic colours are mainly based on the national colours of the USA: red, white and blue.