Profile: Lapel Pin – 1981 European Championships, Innsbruck, Austria
After hosting two Olympic Winter Games (1964 and 1976), along with many other major sporting events, the Tyrolean city of Innsbruck, Austria, was well qualified to welcome Europe’s best figure skaters for the 1981 European Figure Skating Championships, held at Olympiastadion. The post-Olympic year brought few, if any, surprises in the line of European skating succession. Those who were expected to win the titles up for grabs mostly did leave Innsbruck triumphant, but by all accounts, the event was somewhat ordinary. And that ordinariness extends to the pin made to mark the occasion of the 1981 European Figure Skating Championships. With a city and country so steeped in Olympic and sports tradition, a better showing would have been expected.
So what was left to forever commemorate the 1981 Europeans, at least as far as a pin goes, is an epoxy-covered rectangle on a silver-color base metal. At the center is the event logo, pairs skaters in silhouette layered over a “Time Tunnel”-style vortex in red and blue–green that is likely meant to represent a blade tracing or the motion seen in figure skating. Even with those ideas as a guide, one still struggles to see any particular meaning or message in the design, although it is aesthetically pleasing, generally speaking.
At the center of the pin is the 1981 European Figure Skating Championships event logo, pairs skaters in silhouette layered over a “Time Tunnel”-style vortex in red and blue–green …
The champagne-colored background used on the pin is a nice touch and a color not often seen, which allows the wording, done in black, to stand off well. Along the top of the pin are the event name and year: “Europameisterschaften im Eiskunstlaufen 1981.” Notice how the words and date on the second line have been widely spaced in order to create flush alignment left and right. This was not a sound design decision, for the content ends up looking more like separate thoughts rather than a continuous thought. It is unlikely, however, that anyone other than graphic designers were perplexed by or even noticed the arrangement. Along the bottom of the pin are the location and venue: “Innsbruck Olympiastadion.” The pin measures approximately 1″ x 1‑3/8″ (2.5 cm x 3.5 cm).
An interesting production note is that some of the pins from the event were mounted upside down on the base, resulting in the pinback being at the bottom of the pin. This was most inconvenient if one wished to wear the pin since it then fell forward and looked rather awkward when attached to a lapel.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1981 European Figure Skating Championships Pin: An Ordinary Day in Innsbruck. And be sure to read the museum story for more information about figure skating pins.
Pin Gallery: 1981 European Figure Skating Championships
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