IEO merch story
We are happy to present you materials collected from the team members of the IEO that worked on the atmosphere and design of the competition.
We talked to Natalia - brand manager of the IEO'19.

What kind of work did you do during the Olympiad?
I was offered to create souvenirs of the Olympiad. Everything connected with the symbol of the Olympiad that you see – is my job.

How was the merch of the IEO designed?
Well, the main idea of the IEO merch 2019 was to create T-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers and bags that people would like to wear in their everyday life. However we had some limitations in design from our main sponsors Sberbank and HSE. For this reason the labels of the sponsors are located on a sleeve of the sweatshirt.

Is merch of the IEO 2019 vary from the last year? What are the innovations, if there are some?
Last year we had a pilot project, so the merch stuff were quite simple and primitive. There were only colored T-shirts with an old version of the IEO logo. The innovations of this year are new fabric, T-shirts, sweatshirts and bags that are custom-made. I carefully chose the material from which T-shirts were made. There is a rubberized fabric in the sleeves of T-shirts and a carefully designed label. I hope that IEO T-shirts turned out stylish and everyone would like to wear them even after the Olympiad.


Last year there weren't coffee cups and eco-pens. Who is an initiator of these cups, eco-pens and 'recycle-zone' at the headquarters?
Indeed last year we didn't have coffee cups because they weren't necessary, as we had thermo mugs. It was my idea to create eco-pens, just because I like them. Talking about the recycle zone, I have to admit that it was solely the volunteers's idea. They organized the garbage sorting boxes and did it very well.

What parameters were important for you during creating a site in order to make it readable and easy to use?
I used 'Tilda Publishing' – a website builder. It's a very understandable site builder that does not require programming skills. It allowed me to create two websites of the IEO 2019. I didn't follow any special rules in creating a website, I just went on a whim and tried to do something that any user would understand. Our designer Maria helped me with the visualisation of data. The second site is simpler in design than the first one, so I did it totally by myself.

There is a bear on the press-wall. It supposed to be the most popular place of making pictures during the Olympiad. Why does bear have a ruble coin instead of a medal?
Honestly, we were very surprised to see so many people willing to have photos near the 'Bear press wall'. The bear was a design decision by Maria Silkina. She created a press wall in three days. It seems to me that it came out very conceptual -- Bear, ruble, the Olympiad.

Did you take part in designing the medals? Are they similar to the last year or are they a new creative decision by a brand-manager?
Last year we worked on the medals with Maria, a designer of the IEO. At first there were ideas to create something related to the Olympiad like knowledge and economics. We thought of adding an olive branch along the contour, put some graphs and economic symbols. But in the end we came to the decision of leaving the logo only and making medals in a minimalism style.


We talked to the head designer of the IEO'19 Masha.

What do you do during the Olympiad?
I still do design layouts, organize time-lines and control whether everything goes well.

What does the Olympiad logo mean?
The logo has a style of a euro icon, only cropped. The base is the euro, in the shape of a circle. It was made to show that this is still a medal. When I came to work for the IEO, the concept of the logo was already invented by the team. My work was just to update the logo design and make it more modern.
Corporate identity -- a semicircle with a blue fill, we see on banners and flyers. Gold -- a reference to the Olympiad and it is associated with primacy. The blue color is a complimentary color to golden and quite contrasting, so it is convenient to use it in different layouts.

Did you do arrangement of the sponsor's logo Sberbank and HSE?
Yes, I invented everything in terms of location, merchandise, banners, how everything is located. I especially liked the design of the bags. Special thanks to Natasha for her creative assistance. The inscription 'Optimal allocation is inside' is exactly what's needed for an economist, as we believe.


How long did it take to create a design, to work out the details, to think it over?
We did everything for a long time. I added dark color for contrast and improved a little logo. In the fall they began to make corporate identity. During the year they developed merchandise and thought over its design. The largest amount of work fell on the last three weeks. All banners come up at the last moment. We spent the nights and could not think of something else. One of the coolest things, from my point of view -- the press wall with a bear. By the way, it was invented in 1 hour. We did the rest of the simple things much longer.

Are there some connections between the Russian ruble on the chest of a bear and the logo-euro?
Euro, as a world currency, is a symbol of the International Olympiad. Ruble is a symbol of Olympiad that is hold in Russia.

Did the merch change compering with the previous year?
This year we have more merchandises than in 2018 and we made them in a style of minimalism. Natalia became a part of our team and showed herself as a master of creativity. Bottle in the A5 format is her idea! Such bottles are both stylish and convenient to use. Pens are eco-friendly. Also we did more creative T-Shirts than in the last year when we had only a logo on a T-Shirt. This year we add a sign 'Интернешнл левел' ( that is a phrase 'International level' written in Cyrillic script) to the Olympiad logo.