Games mascots with local and national touch

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 June, 2012, 12:00am


The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics mascot designer will create two customised versions for Hong Kong and China to motivate Olympic spirit.

Grant Hunter, regional creative director for Asia at Iris Worldwide, designed the Olympics and Paralympics mascots, named Wenlock and Mandeville, respectively. Inspired by today's multicultural society, Hunter and design agency, Iris, created the mascots with diversity in mind.

'They've got reflective skin like a mirror,' Hunter said. 'They reflect the personalities of the people they meet, and they reflect who we are.'

The mascot template is available online for customisation. Users can change the colour and clothing on Wenlock and Mandeville to create their own versions.

In Britain, children have customised the mascots to reflect their identities.

One Scottish child gave the mascots a kilt, another from Wales gave his version a Welsh dragon.

Created from the last steel drops from construction of the London Olympic Stadium, Wenlock and Mandeville embody the old and the new.

Wenlock is named after the Shropshire town Much Wenlock, which is credited with holding the game that would later inspire the modern Olympics. Mandeville is named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, a site often credited with inspiring the Paralympics.

Wenlock and Mandeville's single eyes are cameras that record everything they see. The taxi lights on their heads are inspired by London's black cabs.

The current models of the China and Hong Kong mascots also feature one eye, and resemble water droplets. The five stars of the national flag are printed on Mr Starry, while the Bauhinia flower of the Hong Kong flag is printed on Ms Blossom.

Hunter unveiled the initial designs of these mascots at Sha Tin New Town Plaza yesterday.

Over three weeks, the droplet design will evolve, with Hunter consulting three athletes who represented Hong Kong at the Beijing Olympics in 2008: windsurfer Vicky Chan Wai-kei and runners Chan Ka-ho and Yiu Kit-ching. The final design will retain the flower and stars of the Hong Kong and national flags. All other aspects are subject to change.

New Town Plaza will stage an exhibition featuring final designs for Mr Starry and Ms Blossom.

The plaza will also host the original sketches of Hunter's previous works, the initial designs for Wenlock and Mandeville, and a 'making of the Olympic mascots' video.

Alongside Hunter's designs, the Plaza will display the three athletes' designs for Mr Starry and Ms Blossom.

The exhibition will run from July 7 to August 12 at the main atrium of the plaza.