Today (November 14) official mascot Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The mascot is an important symbol that has become part of the legacy of the Games and will live on for years after the opening ceremony.
thirty years ago, Albertville Winter Olympics 1992Y spellCreated by a little fairy, in the form of stars and cubes. Philippe Mairesse. The mascot was hugely successful and is fondly remembered by athletes and fans alike. However, there was a possibility that it would never exist, as the mascot originally chosen for the Games was the mountain goat, a symbolic animal found in the Alps.
However, after 10 days of thinking about the subject, including the connection between the art and business worlds, Mairesse came up with the idea for Magique.
Mairesse was only 10 years old when the first Olympic mascot was introduced in Grenoble in 1968, and she has now spoken to Olympics.com about creating a mascot that remains one of her greatest creations to date, and what makes it so perfect. what he calls “the cutting edge of visual creativity”.
Sketches of Magique for a 1991 poster.
Philippe Mairesse’s photo
Olympics.com: How did you come up with the idea of Magique, a mascot that is neither human nor animal?
Philippe Mairesse: There was a desire to move away from tradition, like animals or things for children. All visual identity [de Albertville 1992] it was very abstract, graphic and based on atmosphere and environment.
The Organizing Committee hired Philippe Decouflé, a choreographer who does very enthusiastic and elegant things for the ceremonies. To make a difference, they turned to artists who didn’t quite fit into the traditional spirit of the Games.
Can you tell us how you created Magique?
I didn’t have much time to do this. There was a competition for design agencies and we were already late. We only had eight or ten days to submit the proposal, which was a very short time.
I felt something appear, but I couldn’t see what it was. I was going to create a character, but as I worked on it, I saw that it resembled Shuss, the mascot of Grenoble 1968. [de esa mascota], because he was a child back then. I finally realized that I had created something similar and said to myself, ‘This is not good, this is a disaster.
I left it there for a while, it was useless because we didn’t have time. Then I saw that the star had something in common in the visual identity of the Desgrippes agency. There were some logos drawn by Alain Doré with a very strong set of colours: very bright reds, the colors of the Olympic ring… also lots of white. At that moment, I visualized the star as a character, I put on a hat, I wanted to express it, I had to move it. Actually, I presented not a drawing, but something made of cardboard with movable arms and legs. I took pictures in different positions.
Shuss is the mascot of the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics.
What was the answer?
I got very positive feedback from people who love the mascot. Years later, people still talk to me about him. Then there were others who preferred chamois.
Thirty years later, what do you think of your work?
I think it was a great creation, it was different. That was the spirit of the ’90s: ‘Let’s move on, let’s design all’. But maybe the idea of not creating a mascot with a teddy bear led to something not so emotional. I find Maguique emotional, very funny, but maybe it was something more graphic, more like a cartoon than a mascot.
Since then I’ve seen many mascots and, for example, Javier Mariscal’s for Barcelona 1992, Cobi [era muy emotiva]. Mariscal, many minor characters and animals etc. is an illustrator. I was more graphic and abstract. As for pets, mine may be missing some emotional elements.
But looking back, I feel very proud. It’s one of my best work as an illustrator. You are not offered anything better in the future when you are asked to work on the mascot of the Olympic Games.
Barcelona Mascot 1992.
What do you think makes a good pet?
Emotional side. A pet must be emotional. Then there’s the graphics aspect. The Olympic Games are the cutting edge of sport and should be the same for visual creations. It is difficult to reconcile the two aspects.
Then the name. Not much of an exaggeration for a pet but I noticed [ponerle un nombre] It was very difficult.
Then there is animation. A pet needs to move, and this is difficult to do. I was able to create in 2D and 3D, but when we started creating voluminous like toys or costumes my star got monstrous, it didn’t work that well. It needs to be able to move in all directions, which is difficult, but this is a characteristic of the pet.
Then there’s something extra. Which makes you say that you couldn’t imagine it before it existed, but now that it’s here, it’s obvious to you.
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