Waldi, The Greatest Olympic Mascot Of All Time

Every time the Olympics roll around, I tell myself, "Yeah, probably won't be watching much of that." But inevitably, I catch a few events on TV and get HOOKED, like really hooked. I'm pretty much an expert on curling, skeleton, and biathlon now.

Anyway, I feel as though every designer has something to say about the branding. But to be honest, I don't find that too interesting. It's usually pretty safe and boring, but the mascots, I find those fascinating. A minor part of the games that has often been poorly executed, but still has the potential to be amazing.

As I was researching past mascots, I came across this great infographic put together by the team at Well Done Web Design.

A gallery of past Olympic Mascots from 1968 and on. Published by Marie Elwood and her team at Well Done Web Design on Visual.ly.

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It was then I noticed Waldi, the mascot from the 1972 Games in Munich. How had I never seen this beautiful dachshund illustration before? I thought I had seen all things dachshund. Alas, the shapes, the colors, the simplicity–I fell in love.

Waldi was designed by Otl Aicher, the German designer behind the visual identity of Lufthansa airline. He also designed the pictograms of stick people used for the games that you now see on public signage everywhere. Oh, by the way, he also created the Rotis font family.

Waldi Wooden Toy. Photo by alphanumeric.

Waldi Poster. Photo by alphanumeric.

Cover of  Form Magazine . Issue 53 published in 1971.

Cover of Form Magazine. Issue 53 published in 1971.