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OLYMPIC REVIEW31 VANCOUVER 2010 Vancouver began with an extended period of research. Gardiner and her team were keen to find out what the perception of Canada and the Olympic brand was around the world, as well as which elements of the host country unique character they could share through the Olympic Winter Games. As part of this research, the VANOC brand team spoke to everyday Canadians and set up focus groups with athletes, artists and aboriginal First Nations people - key groups that would be central to staging the Games. " Out of that process we got lots of ideas and insights into what people really wanted these Games to stand for and what they wanted to share about Canada and the Olympic ideals," explains Gardiner. " There were certain themes that emerged no matter who we spoke to - whether it was someone living in rural Canada or in the cities - and we ended up making them central to our brand." As each element of the Vancouver brand became a reality - with the development of the graphic identity, the emblem, mascots and medals - VANOC ensured that the views of the people who would be the key audience for each particular element became a central tenet of the design process. " So with the mascots, we spoke to children and parents, and with the medals we talked to athletes," says Gardner. " Hearing the athletes' perspectives on ?

what a medal means to them and what they thought of their past medals meant that we could take that learning and apply it to the development of our own designs." The Look of the Games that has emerged uses colours and shapes that highlight the breathtaking coast, forests and mountain peaks in the Vancouver region, as well as abstract urban graphics and digitally- inspired elements that represent Canada's modern cities and cutting- edge technology and innovation. " One of the great opportunities that comes from hosting the Games is that you have this chance to share with the rest of the world what it is that's unique about your country," says Gardiner. " It's been fun looking back at what's been done at past Games and seeing how they've put their own regional or national spin on the various iconic elements of the Games." As well as conveying the culture and character of the host city, the look of the Games must connect everything back to the values of the Olympic brand itself to create one of the world's greatest visual events. " We couldn't get away from the fact that as soon as we put the Olympic rings on something, there's immediately an association with something that's great and there's a standard of Olympic excellence," says Gardiner. " The Olympic brand is definitely inspiring to work with because of what it stands for. It is recognised and associated with excellence, bringing people together and celebration." That celebration will soon be taking place in Vancouver and, during the Games, the Look that Gardiner and her team have created will be visible 32OLYMPIC REVIEW THE EMBLEM The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games emblem is a contemporary interpretation of the " inukshuk" - a human- like rock statue, created by the Inuit people of Canada's Arctic as a guidepost to provide direction across the region's vast landscape. The inukshuk has since become a symbol of hope, friendship and hospitality in Canada, and the Vancouver 2010 emblem's name - Ilanaaq - is the Inuktitut word for friend. THE OLYMPIC TORCH The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch takes its inspiration from the cool, crisp lines that are left behind in the snow and ice by skiers and skaters. THE MASCOTS The Vancouver 2010 mascots - Miga, Quatchi and Sumi - were inspired by local Aboriginal mythological creatures. Miga is a sea bear, inspired by the legends of the Pacific Northwest First Nations, in which orca whales transformed into bears when they arrived on land. Quatchi is based on the fabled sasquatch - a popular figure in local Aboriginal legends of the Pacific West Coast. Sumi represents and animal spirit whose background is drawn from many: he wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty thunderbird and runs on the strong furry legs of the black bear. THE OLYMPIC MEDALS Every medal won in Vancouver will be a one- of-a- kind work of art, featuring Aboriginal artworks and will be undulating rather than flat - both firsts in Games history. The dramatic form of the Vancouver 2010 medals is inspired by the ocean waves, drifting snow and mountainous landscape found in the Games region and throughout Canada. The Olympic medals are circular in shape, while the Paralympic medals are a superellipse, or squared circle. THE SPORT PICTOGRAMS The Vancouver 2010 sport pictograms adopt the traditional silhouette design, but put more emphasis on the movement of the athletes to help convey their energy. VANCOUVER 2010 SPORT ILLUSTRATIONS In an Olympic Games first, Vancouver 2010 has also created a set of highly- stylised sport illustrations to accompany the sport pictograms. These sport illustrations give a highly detailed, true- to- life, and almost photographic sense of the athletes performing each sport, and were inspired by modern sport photography, pop culture, fashion illustration and Manga- style comics. LOOK OF THE GAMES " WE COULDN'T GET AWAY FROM THE FACT THAT AS SOON AS WE PUT THE OLYMPIC RINGS ON SOMETHING, THERE'S IMMEDIATELY AN ASSOCIATION WITH SOMETHING THAT'S GREAT AND THERE'S A STANDARD OF OLYMPIC EXCELLENCE" Below The sports illustrations adorn a street in Vancouver VANCOUVER 2010