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Aug

11

2008

Beijing Olympics: The Trouble with Design:

Chinaolympicsymbol

There's nothing I like better than a truly unique take on a subject I'd be happy never hearing another  word about ever again. Such is the case with this fascinating article in Business Week about how Beijing is approaching its hosting of the 2008 Olympics from a graphic design point of view.

Not since the "rising sun" of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics logo has an Olympics emblem incorporated so many politicized double meanings. Then again, when it came to selecting a uniquely Chinese icon, what choice did the Party and its designers have? China's most notable contribution to design over the past century, the muscular propaganda poster art of the Cultural Revolution, would have been inappropriate for an Olympics that's intended to improve and update China's international image. The obvious option was to leapfrog the recent past that China wants its citizens and the world to forget, and refer to the country's ancient traditions.

BW is one of my favorite publications, doing in print what Marketplace does on radio: thoughtful discussions of business from a humanistic perspective instead of gushy encomiums to CEOs and quarterly profits. And after reading this piece, I'd love to find the same for graphic design.

Dear Readers:
Are their blogs/websites/magazines/podcasts you listen to which discuss graphic design in a thoughtful, intelligent way for the interested schmoe not the Battledecks Champion of Photoshop?

Recommendations gratefully accepted. Thanks ya'll.

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