In 1968, one of the most transformative years of the twentieth-century, Mexico City was at the center of global attention. The first Latin American country to host the Olympic Games, Mexico turned to an international team of designers to create a visual identity for its Olympics. The results blurred the boundaries of graphic and environmental design, contemporary and folk art, offering a vibrant image of Mexico rooted in tradition and connected to global modernity.
Yet despite the optimism of this Olympic vision, 1968 saw Mexico and the world rocked by popular movements seeking possibilities beyond the status quo. Olympic events were the site of dramatic calls for racial equality, while in the streets students marched against the repression of Mexico’s single-party state, appropriating icons of the Olympic design program to indict those in power.
The story of MEXICO 68 places design at the heart of global spectacle and popular dissent, revealing images and spaces as contested sites in struggles over collective futures.