50 Years Olympic Summer Games Munich 1972 Celebrating the Iconic Design by Otl Aicher

Celebrating the Iconic Design by Otl Aicher: 50 Years Olympic Summer Games Munich 1972

This article is part of something bigger – i.e., our “design trendwatch whitepaper” celebrating the iconic brand design German designer Otl Aicher and his team developed and filled with life. Would you have guessed a story about design would include the story of positive change, of evil roots providing the soil to silently but effectively build something new? We were also as surprised as hooked – and we’re happy to share these timeless insights as inspiration for using great brand design as a way to build the future. Get to know more about it and maybe join us in that endeavor!

Today, on the 26th of August 2022, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer Games in Munich 1972.

For me, this is not only a sports event jubilee but a design milestone – and a milestone for my personal life. It is 50 years ago that I was born – as it happens, not only just on the very day before those historic games began, plus I happen to live in or at least pretty close to Munich.

The marks of this Olympic past surround me every day.

On one of my running routes, one of the Olympia sailboats is lying just by the side of the way.

The public swimming pool I sometimes use was one of the many training facilities – of course, design-wise 100% “on brand”.

When I checked out who is the swimming coach there, it turned out that Mr. Pilz was one of the participants at the 1972 games.

Sooo cool being able to take coaching sessions with him!

Wherever you look and open your eyes, you can – even outside of Munich City – still notice the Olympic Games lurking behind each corner.

This brand design story we’re about to tell started out fifty years ago – or did it already start at the first German (Nazi) Olympic games in 1936?

You’re soon to find out!

All of this kind of came to me.

My husband (and former competitive athlete) Tobias had the characteristic posters framed in his flat when I met him, and in the meanwhile, they are greeting our visitors in our door hall.

One of the original posters / 1972 Olympic Summer Games Munich.


My husband Tobias during his time as a competitive athlete (on the right).

I started getting hooked: After such a long time, the design and branding seemed to work so well – after all, the colors, symbols, and patterns were still all around and giving things a certain stylishness! Together with our then designer Gabriela we started digging deeper. First research showed quickly that we had only touched the tip of a highly interesting iceberg here.

So here is a story of how design and branding can help us turn ideas and abstract concepts into an atmosphere, into reality, and how it can help shape the future.

Please meet our new design trendwatch whitepaper – you can read it here on the blog or download it below!

Credit Main Cover Pic: Otl Aicher and his team of the Olympic Committee 1972

I hope it will inspire as much as it did for the o8 team and me.

Come along and get inspired, too – maybe to create a brand with as much impact with us here at o8.

All the best – Kristin

P.S.: This whitepaper and design trends special, in a way, is also a gift I am happy to give to my husband and myself, celebrating our 50th birthdays this August 2022. May it be, as Otl Aicher said, “the next 50 years to come will be exciting” – in a good way, please!

Before we deep dive here, let me share another fun adventure linking my life to Munich and the Olympics – that is

How I participated in the National College Championships in Fencing

and shared bubbles in the ladies’ 1972 Olympic Games shower facilities.

During my studies at the University of Mannheim,

we had the luxury of being offered an extremely varied sports program. We were encouraged to try out as much as possible and would happily make good use of it. So, for one or two semesters, I got to learn some fencing – a highly fascinating sport with all the cables and electronic ado, the cool looks (!), the extremely quick feet, and the intense focus you need…

Then the National College Championships (“Hochschulmeisterschaften”) were coming up, and they needed another person on the women’s team to complete it.

Desperate for the one missing team member (can you already guess? ;)) they asked … me.

Very well – I am not the one to miss an adventure if invited to it:

After clearly doing an expectation setting check (“you are aware I will not be able to contribute anything useful but cheering on?” “All good, we’re fine with that”), they still were crazy enough to have me.

It sounded like an adventure.

And it was: It involved two measly duels I had to participate in (in emotional management wise that had been easy – everyone, me included, simply knew I would lose, so no trauma there).

I recall the classic gym smell, we even slept there! (don’t bother to ask – my first and last time! ;))

However, my fellow team members featured some female fencers who knew what they were doing, so we had reason to celebrate – and that we did.

And this is why I got a cherished memory of myself drinking bubbles in the 1972 Olympics design showers – with – among some other cool girls Antje – the true fencing heroine.

This is the intro of our Design Trendwatch special about Otl Aicher and his iconic brand design for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich – check out the other parts here:

Or, if you’d like to enjoy the full-blown beauty of this nicely layouted whitepaper, be sure to download it here now:

Kristin Reinbach

As the owner of agency „OVERW8“ and building on more than 20 years experience in marketing, Kristin is consistently thinking along the terms of ‚customer value‘, ‚brand value‘ as well as business models. Consistently meaning when she’s out for dinner, sitting in a cosy ski hut as well as having a sundowner wine at a vineyard. Like this, it’s simple logic that her primary job now is to support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams with this know-how to create more brand value, more customer value and thus more company value. She’s sharing some of these nuggets here on OVERW8’s blog.

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