Rayka Zehtabchi directs mini documentary around the design process
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Organizing Committee has unveiled its original and unprecedented logo for the 2022 USA Games which was, for the first time in the organisation’s 50-year history, inspired and designed by nine artistic and talented Special Olympics athletes. Athletes from across the country gathered for a three-day workshop in Orlando, where they joined forces with professional designers from creative ad agency partner, Publicis Seattle, to provide the vision for the 2022 USA Games logo, as well as the primary color palette that explodes with life. The mark represents the natural elements of Florida culminating in a fiery spark of the Special Olympics spirit.
“It is an honour 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.”
“This logo tells a story of how a combined passion for sports, perseverance, and art can literally come to life on a blank canvas,” said Joe Dzaluk, president & CEO of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. “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."
Additionally, Iranian-American filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi, who is best known for her 2018 Academy Award-winning documentary short 'Period. End of Sentence.', directed a mini-documentary that was filmed during the three-day workshop. 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. Zehtabchi’s film beautifully captures the positive impact of the process and the undeniable spirit and talent of the athletes.
Melissa Nelson, president, Publicis Seattle, commented: “We’ve been privileged to partner with Special Olympics for the 2018 Games and now again for the 2022 Games. This collaboration inspires our people to do what they do best: explore exciting new creative thinking and opportunities.
Pete Kearney, executive creative director, Publicis Seattle, added: “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.”
The nine athletes included: Aarushi Pratap of Special Olympics Florida (Fashion Design), Andrew Weatherly of Special Olympics New Jersey (Abstract Painting), Caroline Shin of Special Olympics Florida (Web Design), Coby Fineran of Special Olympics Iowa (Tattoo Artist), Haley Waggoner of Special Olympics Nebraska (Cake Decorating), Lee Savage of Special Olympics Florida (Drawing), Mariah Gilbert of Special Olympics Washington (Drawing), Marta Páramo of Special Olympics Florida (Painting) and Patrice Jetter of Special Olympics New Jersey (Graphic Design).