Christchurch Commonwealth Games logo designer dies

Colin Simon's winning logo for the 1974 Commonwealth Games won a design competition and changed...
Colin Simon's winning logo for the 1974 Commonwealth Games won a design competition and changed the colour scheme of the entire games. Photo: Supplied, File
A Scotsman who designed one of the New Zealand’s most recognisable logos - the symbol of the Christchurch Commonwealth Games in 1974 - has died.

Colin Simon, who was 83 when he passed away, won the design competition for the logo after the New Zealand Commonwealth Games Committee judging panel modified a rule stating the entries had to be a combination of black and one other colour.

Simon submitted a version in silver and black alongside the now indelible red, white and blue emblem.

The New Zealand Commonwealth Games Committee ultimately chose Simon’s preferred colour scheme in 1971, a decision that has stood the test of time.

A 1970s jumpsuit designed by Jane Daniels, inspired by Colin Simon's logo. Photo: Supplied, NZH File
A 1970s jumpsuit designed by Jane Daniels, inspired by Colin Simon's logo. Photo: Supplied, NZH File
Simon, who emigrated with his family in 1953, had no specific education or training in art or graphic design. He was awarded $350 for winning the competition and an ex-gratia payment of $1000 in recognition of the logo’s success, which continues to be a cultural icon today.

In one simple yet complex design, the logo captured five distinct elements: The country location, the year and the games number - the Roman numeral X for 10th dissects diagonally.

The colours mirror Great Britain’s Union Jack flag while Maori heritage is represented by stylised Vs used in carvings.

Simon died on February 27 in Paraparaumu, north of his adopted home Wellington. His funeral service was held earlier this month.

 

 

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