Profile: Lapel Pins – 1984 European Championships, Budapest, Hungary
More than 20 years had passed since Europe’s premiere figure skating event had taken place in the city of Budapest, Hungary, on the banks of the Danube and behind the so-called “Iron Curtain.” So when the 1984 European Figure Skating Championships were staged there, just ahead of the Olympic Winter Games in neighboring Yugoslavia, it was a momentous event, commemorated with well-designed pins. And although the pins missed the mark on production value, they excelled in a clever logo design that reveals a high level of creative thought and skill.
The highly stylized and swirled central element seen on the pins from the 1984 European Figure Skating Championships is quite different from other logos that have marked this annual event. The “EB” together represent “Európa-Bajnokság” (or translated, “European Championship”). Note that the flourishes not only create a strong and interesting visual but suggest the delicate tracings left by a skate blade on the ice. The year “1984” is incorporated into and flows out of the tracings, and particularly clever is the interpretation of a treble clef as the numeral 8 in 1984—a tip of the hat to the musicality of figure skating. As a design unit, the artwork is quite well done.
Also making the pins more unique is the oval, used as the shape of the main logo pin itself and repeated in art form on the other pins. The logo pin, shown first in the gallery, is on a gold-color base metal and measures approximately 1″ x 5/8″ (2.5 cm x 1.6 cm). A rich bluish–green background complements the gold lettering of the epoxy-covered pin. Note that there is no location (city or country) displayed on the pin, making it one of only four European Championships pins from the 1980s with this distinction (the other three being 1980 Gothenburg, 1985 Gothenburg, and 1987 Sarajevo).
Also making the pins more unique is the oval, used as the shape of the main logo pin itself and repeated in art form on the other pins.
Also issued for the event were two other pins, likely made for and given only to competitors, selected officials, and others with a specific role in the event. Shown next in the gallery is a rectangular pin that incorporates, at the center, the main logo design but adds elements not seen on the logo pin: the word “Műkorcsolyázó” (or translated, “Figure Skater”) at the top and “Budapest” at the bottom. On a silver-color base metal, the epoxy covering reveals a lightly textured background. Uneven coloration is seen, and some pins show pitting on the surface—the inferior production value referred to earlier. Creating a cohesiveness with the logo pin is the oval shape, replicated in pinstripes in the colors of the Hungarian flag, and that encircles the logo and anchors the wording. This pin was given to members of the press (and was included in the welcome kit received) and likely would have been given to others working at the event in a service or professional capacity. It measures approximately 1‑9/16″ x 1‑1/8″ (4 cm x 2.9 cm).
Last in the gallery is the same rectangular pin but with a decorative ribbon added that represents the Hungarian flag. The ribbon, secured to the reverse of the pin by prongs, tapers to a gentle point at the bottom, creating a softness against the cool silver color and sharp corners of the pin itself. This pin was likely produced in limited number and given only to higher-level event officials and participants, including competitors. The addition of colorful ribbons on pins to distinguish event officials and participants was common at World and European Figure Skating Championships (as well as other sports), particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, but even into the 1980s, as seen here.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1984 European Figure Skating Championships Pins: East Bank, West Bank. And be sure to read the museum story for more information about figure skating pins.
Pins Gallery: 1984 European Figure Skating Championships
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