My Graphic Design 1 class finished their Sochi Olympics posters last week. Overall, the designs were clean and effective, using minimal elements and colors as was required. The results were interesting. Several students chose the option to create a protest poster addressing the gay rights or security issues in Russia. A generic Olympics poster usually communicates something about the location, the athletic events, or the spirit and excitement of the Games. For the most part, the student posters accomplished this. With a political poster, the designer must capture the essence of a complex message in a clear, simple way. Some of the protest posters were more successful than others in communicating the message.
Of course, during NBC’s Olympics television coverage, no one said a word about any of these issues. And that’s what left me feeling underwhelmed. The focus remained on the athletes and the events, intermixed with some of their personal journeys, which I always enjoy. But I would have liked some mention of controversy and interesting stories of gay athletes, and got none of that.