Montréal Olympics Souvenir Plate

Souvenirs from the Montreal Olympics look like the Games in transition. There’s a deliberate tension between tradition and modernism; some of the designs emphasized the classical, athletic aspects of Games, while others showed off the flair of the city’s new architecture and youth culture. Drawing on International Style typography (and owing an obvious debt to Otl Aicher’s designs for the 1972 Munich Games), the Montreal Games were permeated by a distinctive ‘Canadian modernism’. This graphic style was applied to a huge range of objects from posters to luggage, disposable lighters to high-end ceramics from regal brands like Wedgwood and Royal Copenhagen. Montreal’s Graphics and Design Directorate oversaw and approved every application, ensuring that each piece inherited the same well considered qualities.

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