99designs has Olympic Fever. But now that the games are coming to a close – we want to extend the fun! With an Olympic challenge :)
Olympic mascots have ranged from pretty cute to pretty creepy. Though they’re not as well recognized as some of the other Olympic branding – logos in particular – but they’re created to represent the country hosting the Olympics as well as the Olympic event itself. The mascots tend to represent native flora, fauna or cultural aspects of the host country.
So, what do we want to see? If you were allowed to design the Olympic mascot or mascots for YOUR country, what would they look like?
We’ll award a gold, silver and bronze prize — all three will win a 99designs Community T-shirt! :) Designs are welcomed until Thursday, August 23rd.
For inspiration, here’s a collection of some of the previous Olympic mascots:
London Summer 2012: Wenlock and Mandeville
Wenlock and Mandeville, the official mascots of this year’s London Olympic and Paralympic Games. They represent two drops of steel used to create London’s Olympic stadium, topped off with the beaming lights of Britain’s famous taxi cabs. Their names are historically significant as well – with Wenlock (right) named after Much Wenlock – a key location in the formation of the modern Olympics, and Mandeville (left) after the city Stoke Mandeville, where the Paralympic games were originated. They were created by London design agency Iris.
Vancouver Winter 2010: Miga, Quatchi and Suma
Design Studio Meomi decided to make the mascots mythological for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. There are three mascots: Sumi is an animal-guardian spirit called a Thunderbird, Quatchi is the infamous Sasquatch and Miga is part orca and part Kermode bear.
Beijing Summer 2008: The Fuwa
Han Meilin, creator of Beijing’s Olympic Mascots, certainly did not skimp on imagination when he came up with the five mascots for the 2008 Olympics: the Fuwa. There is layer upon layer of meaning in these little dudes: five different characters represent different elements of China’s culture, the Olympic rings and participating continents. Each represents a fengshui element, has a specific personality and represents a human ideal and Olympic sport. You can check out the details on Wikipedia.
Another fun fact? Combine their five names – BeiJing HuanYing Ni and you get the phrase “Beijing welcomes you”
Sydney Summer 2000: Olly, Syd and Millie
These three represent some of Australia’s most famous animals – Olly, named after “Olympics” represents a kookaburra as well as the Olympic spirit of generosity. Syd the platypus is named for “Sydney” and represents the energy of Australia and it’s people. Finally, Millie the echidna, named for “Millenium” is a technology buff and information superstar – representative of the new millenium. The three were created by Matthew Hattan and Josef Szekeres.
Nagano Winter 1998: The Snowlets
Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki: take the first syllable from each name and what do you get? “Snowlets” – baby owls who love snow, of course. These four owls represent the four islands of Japan as well as earth, wind, fire, water — the four-year olympic cycle and the four seasons of the year. A lot of work for a couple of baby owls. (I couldn’t find the designer of the Snowlets – so if you guys know, give us a heads up!)
Barcelona Summer 1992: Cobi
Seoul Summer, 1988: Hodori
Hodori the Tiger, created by Kim Kyun, was selected from a contest of over 2,000 submissions. He’s a friendly Amur Tiger, created to represent the hospitable traditions of Korea. His name is derived from “ho,” part of the Korean word for tiger and “dori” — a name used for “boy” in Korean.
Moscow Summer 1980: Misha
Misha, short for the Russian Mikhail, was the result of a competition run by the Moscow Olympic Committee for the 1980 Summer Games — the challenge was to create a bear. His name is one often given to bears in Russian mythology due it’s similarity to an abbreviated Russian word for bear, “mishka.” He was created by illustrator Victor Chizhikov and wears an Olympic belt of blue, yellow, black, green and red.
Munich Summer 1972: Waldi
Waldi was the first official Olympic Mascot, representing the Munich Olympics in 1972. He was created by designer Otl Aicher, a dachshund designed to represent the athletes’ agility, resistance and tenacity. The mascot was designed to be the colors of the Olympic rings, with the black and red left out because of it’s association with the Nazi party. Fun fact about Waldi — the marathon course in Germany that year was created around his shape.