In collaboration with Teena Aujla and Chloe Douglas and the production department at HBC, we designed the 2010 workforce uniform, coined during the games as the "Blue Jackets." The project was highly detailed and technical as many different departments at VANOC (from Event Services to Snow Removal) had specific requirements. The uniform brief was to visually unite the workforce team, stand out from a crowd and reflect the 2010 brand identity, which was a youthful west coast snowboard culture.
Since these uniforms were to worn by everyone from university volunteers to CEO's to your grandmother, we didn't want the graphics to be too loud, so solid colours were used with a subtle tone on tone pattern. I was responsible for creating this pattern, which was 36" wide and had to tile above, below and beside.
Originally there were to be two sets of uniforms, one for Olympic and the other for Paralympic volunteers. When the economy collapsed in 2008, all budgets at VANOC were re-examined and we now needed to make the uniforms function for both events. This threatened the large Olympic rings on the back of the jacket (which we felt added a sense of pride and unity for the volunteers).
It was through a random conversation with a former Olympic athlete who brought up the idea of a snap on racing bib, which could be applied overtop of the branding. We then figured the front could be addressed by using velcro patches, which would make the conversion possible on both sides. After some quick mock-ups of how this could work, the larger team on the uniform project (including other departments such as workforce, sponsorship and sport production) found a way within budget to make this happen and conversion kits where distributed to the volunteers during the accreditation process.
Workforce photography by Steve Simon and Ben Hulse.