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Publicis Groupe Olympics Advertising

Special Olympics enlists its athletes to help design 2022 USA Games logo


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

August 12, 2019 | 3 min read

Publicis Seattle was tasked with putting together a logo for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando. The agency and Special Olympics USA Games Organizing Committee decided that it needed input from the athletes, so it enlisted nine artistic and talented Special Olympians to help work on the logo.

Special Olympics design

Special Olympics design

For the first time in the organization’s 50-year history, the logo is inspired and designed by Special Olympics athletes. Athletes from across the country gathered for a three-day workshop in Orlando, where they joined forces with professional designers from Publicis Seattle, to provide the vision for the 2022 USA Games logo, as well as the primary color palette that explodes with life.

A mini-documentary of the process was made by Iranian-American filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi, who is best known for her 2018 Academy Award-winning documentary short "Period. End of Sentence". It shows the joy and talent the designer-athletes brought to the table and how a combination of their designs went into the final product. This unique approach to developing the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games logo served as the perfect platform to unlock the creativity and confidence of the Special Olympics athletes.

The final design represents the natural elements of Florida culminating in a fiery spark of the Special Olympics spirit.

“It is an honor to be part of the team that created the logo,” Special Olympics athlete Lee Savage said. “This was so important to us because Special Olympics is such an important part of our lives. We are proud of the logo and hope it can be an inspiration to society.”

Added Joe Dzaluk, president and chief executive of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games: “This logo tells a story of how a combined passion for sports, perseverance and art can literally come to life on a blank canvas. These incredible athletes used their unique talents to inspire and design an iconic image for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games brand, and it proved to be more meaningful than any of us could have ever imagined.”

Pete Kearney, executive creative director, Publicis Seattle, stated: “We’ve always felt this was never our logo to create – it was the athletes’. We embraced that idea and empowered the talent, vision and passion of these spirited artists. We’re in the business of changing perceptions, and with this work, we’ve shown that creative power exists in each and every one of us.”

See the film and individual designs by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

Special Olympics: 2022 US Games logo design by Publicis Seattle

By Special Olympics

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