Badge, Milan bid for the 2000 Olympic Games, metal/ plastic/ paper, designer and maker unknown, made c.1993
The story of Olympic bid logos commences in the 1950s though becomes increasingly detailed from the 1980s onwards when the bidding process turned highly competitive. At this time, Olympic bid logos became both elaborate and ubiquitous, ornamenting a broad range of souvenirs and figuring prominently at international sporting competitions.
The tradition of bid logos emerged in the early 1950s when Melbourne produced an insignia to support its tender to host the 1956 Games. National Olympic Committees - national organisations controlling local Olympic affaires - developed logos from this time onwards to distinguish their bid from other Olympic tenders. Initially, these designs were quite plain and typically depicted the Olympic rings alongside a recognised national motif.
The suite of bid logos for the 2000 Olympic Games represents a combination of conservative and comparatively modern designs. Five cities - Istanbul, Berlin, Manchester, Beijing and Sydney - competed seriously to host the event, and aimed to win over the IOC with their comprehensive bid and corporate image. A further three cities - Brasilia, Tashkent and Milan - also tendered submissions though did not progress to the first bidding round. The Olympic rings featured in all 2000 bid logos, excepting those for Milan and Sydney.
The Istanbul logo was simple yet colourful, featuring converging paths in red and orange. In contrast, the Berlin logo was notably austere, representing the Brandenburg Gates in basic black and white. The Manchester logo incorporated the city colours - red and blue - and depicted an ignited Olympic cauldron above a golden letter 'M'. The Beijing logo referred directly to Chinese culture, combining a red pagoda with the Olympic rings.
Without doubt, the Milan and Sydney logos were the most modern and distinctive in style, modifying and modernising cultural icons. The Milan logo depicted a silver athlete bounding from Da Vinci's study of the human form, and the Sydney logo represented the roofline of the Opera House in the colours of the Olympic rings. This latter logo, and its uniquely dynamic design, reflects the experience of Australia's National Olympic Committee that had developed unsuccessful and conventional logos for its 1992 and 1996 Olympic bids.
This badge, 'Milano 2000', supported the city of Milan in its eventually abandoned bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games. Despite Milan's withdrawal, the logo stands out for the quality and originality of design, melding an iconic Italian image - Da Vinci's study of the human form - with modern graphic design. The logo appeared on many souvenirs prior to and during the bid, including metal badges and enameled stickpins.
Used to promote the Milan bid for the 2000 Olympic Games.
Owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum.