Traces of Otl Aicher in Tasmania

The first thing that popped in my eyes when we moved to small town Moonah in the south of this island was a corrugated iron covered community gym hall with pictograms on it. The colours of white and red were most likely chosen to go with the Coca Cola signage.

What a delight for a typographers eye! Since I was very familiar with Otl Aichers pictograms he designed for the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, I had the suspicion they might have been copied here. Or to say it in a correct English way – these gym-pictos were deeply inspired by and show a strong relationship to Otl Aichers designs.

/// left: original Otl Aicher pictograms designed in 1972 for the Olympic Games in Munich ///right: Moonah pictograms – Volleyball and Basketball below (flipped original design)


It is certainly a great source of inspiration and probably one of the most beautiful pictos ever designed for the Olympic Games. The Moonah pictos were showing some weather damage. Especially all the round ‘heads’ were shrunk to half size, giving them a rather bowl shaped look. I hope rather than replacing them the town council will re-store the signs!

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