1976 European Figure Skating Championships Pin: Simple Swiss Elegance.

Profile: Lapel Pin from the 1976 European Figure Skating Championships

At the 1976 European Figure Skating Championships in Genèva, Switzerland, the beginning of that season’s “sweep” of major titles began for Great Britain’s John Curry when he narrowly won the European title—but did so with style and technique that was unequaled and has never been matched. Of course, Curry would go on to win Olympic and World gold in the same year. The pin made to commemorate the 1976 European Championships has a style of its own, too. Although it’s not quite as classic as Curry’s, it does reflect the simple and elegant style seen in his skating.

Design-wise, the look and feel of the 1976 Europeans pin clearly says 1970s. Think bright colors and strobe effect, for example. Both are seen in the pin and both are incorporated tastefully. That, unfortunately, wasn’t always the case with design from the 1970s.

Note the simplification of “European Figure Skating Championships” to just “Europe.”

On a silver-color base metal, the circular pin features an illustration of two skaters’ legs with boots and blades. The foreground is presumably a female and the background presumably a male. A multi-color strobe effect in red, blue, and yellow appears along the right-hand edge of the illustration, suggesting a skater in motion. Just to the right of the illustration in black lettering are the event name, year, and location: “Europe, 1976, Genève.” Note the simplification of “European Figure Skating Championships” to just “Europe.” To the knowledge of The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins, this is the only pin with this shortened form. It is not unusual to see “EM” used on pins from events held in German-speaking or some Scandinavian countries. However, that shortened form is instead an abbreviation of the written equivalent.

Of some note is the font used for the lettering on the pin, which appears to be a version of Helvetica bold—Helvetica being Latin for “Swiss.” A bit on the nose but a solid choice that supports the balance of art against an effective use of white space. Measuring approximately 7/8″ in diameter (2.2 cm), the pin is an example of no-nonsense, simple Swiss design. For a 1960s design from Genève, see the 1962 European Championships figure skating pins blog.

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1976 European Figure Skating Championships Pin: Simple Swiss Elegance.

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