Mon beau Montréal

1976 Montréal Olympics, Georges Huel

I recently judged a competition for the GDC in Canada. Much of the work was from Montréal, and it was darned good. There's some cracker jack stuff happening up there in the cold north. I've never been to Montreal, but I've been lucky enough to have been invited to many other parts of Canada.

If you've never been, it's like this: imagine that you go back in time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. You step on that one butterfly, and sure enough the butterfly effect happens. Once you go back into the time machine and return to the present day, everything seems the same... almost. That's what Canada is like. It seems just like home, but then there are little things that are just slightly different, like a different dimension one step away from our reality. Of course, there is different money. They speak English, albeit slightly differently. The stores are sort of the same, except you can buy really cool lumberjack kind of stuff at Roots. And they look like us, but they're incredibly nice.

One of my favorite Olympics programs, or programme to our French Canadian friends, is the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Georges Huel created a harmony of elements that are exuberant and tightly controlled. What a wonderful time it must have been in 1976. A designer could design with flawless Swiss typography, staying on the grid, aligning photos to the golden section. Nobody made accusations of post-modern referential appropriation. Swiss typography in a pure form was a just a swell solution. Judging by the photo of Huel's team, I imagine lots of long lunches drinking Harvey Wallbangers and chilled white wine..

 

Design Team: Georges Huel, Léo Chevalier, Marielle Fleury, Michel Robichaud, John Warden

 

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