Atlanta 1996 – Look of the Games (Quilt of Leaves)

Designer: Copeland Hirthler Murrell/Atlanta, Georgia

Favermann Design/Boston, Massachusetts

Jones Worley Design/Atlanta, Georgia

Malcolm Grear Designers/Providence, Rhode Island

Angeli Design/San Francisco, California

Turner Associates/Atlanta, Georgia

With due respect to colour palettes and mascots: these elements are not enough to create a uniform visual appearance at Olympic (Summer) Games – after all, the biggest event with the largest design project worldwide. In order for this to succeed, a Look of the Games is needed. As a reminder: Mexico 1968 was the first Olympic city to have a Look of the Games, even though the term itself was only used for the first time 16 years later, in Los Angeles 1984. In 1993, the Creative Services department began evaluating certain design firms that might be able to create the Look of the Games for Atlanta. From over 500 potential agencies, the first step was to select 87 for shortlisting. These companies were provided with detailed information on the Games and asked to submit their designs. 13 of them responded to the request and presented their dossiers to a jury of the Organising Committee at the end of 1993. In the meantime the ACOG decided to put together a consortium of talented designers from various companies, and finally selected six of these 13 companies to develop the Look of the Games as a joint venture with the aim “to create a better whole”. Five of these selected companies were design firms, one was an architecture/project management firm; they are listed by name at the bottom of this page. The basic condition for the ACOG was clear: the Look should reflect positive attributes of the US southern states and their people, such as cordiality, friendliness and hospitality. It was precisely these characteristics of the South in general and Atlanta’s residents in particular that the Organising Committee hold responsible of the city being awarded the Games. In addition, the design of the Look of the Games had to be flexible enough to be quickly applied to all media.

Helen Bell, hand made the “Quilt of Leaves” as a surprise gift.