Publicis Seattle took the unusual step of removing itself as the chief creative for the 2022 USA Games Special Olympics logo after several prototypes didn't spark adequate inspiration from either agency staffers or festival organizers.
Instead, for the first time in the organization's 50-year history, the logo is inspired and designed by nine Special Olympic athletes themselves after Publicis Seattle gathered them for a three-day workshop in Orlando, Florida.
“We’ve always felt this was never our logo to create — it was the athletes,'" says Pete Kearney, executive creative director, Publicis Seattle. "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.”
The resulting mark is designed to represent the natural elements of Florida — Walt Disney World Resort is the official host — culminating in a fiery spark of the Special Olympics spirit.
The agency also partnered with Iranian-American filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi for a mini documentary capturing the behind-the-scenes process during the workshop.
This branding will be used to raise awareness for the event taking place from June 5-11, 2022 that features more than 4,000 athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Some 125,000 spectators are expected to attend.
“This logo tells a story of how a combined passion for sports, perseverance and art can literally come to life on a blank canvas,” says Joe Dzaluk, president-CEO of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. He adds, this collaboration "proved to be more meaningful than any of us could have ever imagined.”