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The Montreal ’76 logo is an icon of Canadian design and a rare, but compelling example of political nepotism gone right. Unlike many Olympic logos, the Montreal emblem was not the product of open competition. Instead, Montreal’s Mayor Jean Drapeau awarded the job to his friend Georges Huel, an accomplished designer in his own right. Huel’s deceptively simple design consists of three symbolic elements – the olympic rings, a running track (top centre), and an M (think hand writing, not type) for Montreal, which is also a graphic represents of an Olympic podium. The logo’s less-is-more styling set the tone for the entire Montreal ’76 identity.
– Pamela Ferguson, “Five ring circus”, Design magazine, Issue 313, January 1975. Via We Made This.
– “Games of the XXI Olympiad, Montréal 1976 – Official Report”, Volume I, COJO 1978