The Dortmund Three. 1983.

Figure Skating Pins Profile: 1983 European Championships

Good things come in threes, it is said. The proof? Well, think of … Wishes. Triplets. Little pigs. Wise men. Columbus’ ships. Figure skating pins. That last one may not be as well known to all, and to be more specific about it, consider the pins made to commemorate the 1983 European Figure Skating Championships, held in Dortmund, West Germany, in late January–early February of that year. They are a fine-looking trio indeed—we’ll call them The Dortmund Three.

The compulsory figure known as the loop once again presents itself as the main element in the brand identity of an important figure skating championship. German designers apparently love the loop, with some version of it also having been used on pins from the 1964 World Championships (Dortmund), the 1969 European Championships (Garmisch-Partenkirchen), and the 1980 World Championships (Dortmund).

Each of the three pins from the 1983 European Championships is identical in design, with differences coming in color assignment. The pin is divided vertically into fourths, with the top fourth containing the event name: “Europameisterschaften im Eiskunstlaufen.” Within the remaining space are the event date, venue, and location: “31.1 – 6.2.1983, Westfalenhalle, Dortmund.” Just below the date is a logo that depicts, in part, Dortmund Tourism (DO), the facade of the Westfalenhalle, and the Florianturm, a telecommunications tower and Dortmund landmark in nearby Westfalen Park. Enclosed in the smaller loop of the figure is the logo of the Dortmund Union Brewery, another landmark in the city and whose logo once stood atop the Westfalenhalle. And what would any event held in Germany be without some connection to beer?

Each of the three pins from the 1983 European Figure Skating Championships is identical in design, with differences coming in color assignment.

The depiction of the loop itself is stylized, with tracings that are neither uniform in shape nor aligned atop one another. This figure surely would have received a poor mark back in the day, but it works successfully here as a purely artistic representation. The first pin shown has an off-white and light blue palette, with lettering in silver, the same as the base metal color. Ample white space at the bottom of the pin offsets the heavier, more crowed top portion. With slightly rounded corners, the pin measures approximately 1″ x 1-1/4″ (2.5 cm x 3.2 cm). The second pin has a more dramatic palette, with the white at the top replaced by a rich red but with the same light blue at the bottom. The third pin is visually the most interesting. The two larger areas of the loop are filled with a dark blue, but the main body changes to a medium blue while white is retained at the top. Of the three, this version is less often seen; although now, nearly 40 years on from the event, none of the pins can be readily found.

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: The Dortmund Three. 1983.

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