Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A bit of controversy here in town this week over the new 2010 Olympic logo contest winner. Seems people are all screaming about how being an Inukshuk the design does little to represent BC since the Inuit are in a totally different province. Where are the mountains? Where's the local heritage? Why does it look like a cross between Gumby and Pac Man?

One Inuit wrote in to the local paper to say that the Inukshuk, dubbed "Ilanaaq" meaning friend is actually a symbol for killing, not friendship.

Now I wasn't going to say too much about the goofy new design primarily because as an entrant in the VANOC design contest not only am I biased, it would be ridiculously petty to diss it. Sure the two pieces I submitted incorporated local folklore, the bulk of the games are taking place in Whistler after all and the neighbouring Kwagiutl band (as well as the Haida and numerous other culturally rich bands throughout the province) should be included in the motif, but I also felt my designs could have been stronger and no doubt there'd be dozens of of other entrants with something more powerful to offer. I went in convinced there was no way in hell I'd win but I'd have kicked myself forever if I didn't at least try.

Again, I wasn't going to say much of anything about it... that is until I received this e-mail from VANOC today:

> Dear Vancouver 2010 Olympic Emblem Design Competition Entrant,
> In order to participate in the Design Competition, all participating entrants and designers signed an Intellectual Property Rights and Confidentiality Agreement, which provides that VANOC owns all submitted designs, including designs that are not chosen as the 2010 Olympic Emblem, and requires all entrants and designers to maintain the strict confidentiality of their design and all information regarding their design.
> Design Competition entrants or designers that disclose their designs or information regarding their design are infringing VANOC> '> s exclusive rights in the designs and breaching their obligations under the Intellectual Property Rights and Confidentiality Agreement. Any participation in, or assistance of, such wrongful conduct by the media also constitutes an infringement of VANOC> '> s exclusive rights and other actionable wrongs against VANOC.
> For the vast majority of participants who have upheld this confidentiality agreement, we sincerely thank you. We are very proud of your response to the Emblem Design Competition, and hope that you respect the winning designers and celebrate their success.
> Thank you.

Pretty hasty looking isn't it? I'm sure it was rushed off after seeing the picture of another entrant in the Province newspaper this morning complaining about the new design and how his incorporated local native imagery while the one chosen did not. There was no picture of his submission with the interview, obviously because he was bound by contract not to reveal it but I think it scared VANOC enough to send these badly formatted letters to all the entrants ASAP before it became a PR nightmare once the people started seeing the designs that were passed over popping up all over the place.

I think the part that bugged me was that wonderfully passive aggresive passage: "We... hope that you respect the winning designers and celebrate their success."

Nahh. It's a goofy design, powerful yeah, with it's bold iconic outline and vivid colours (complete with badly tacked on meanings for each hue) but also inappropriate. Like a penguin used to promote Iceland.

Mine wasn't great, I won't say what it was or post the image because I don't want to be sued thanks, but jeez, ya think they could have come up with something better?

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