HE may not be competing at the Olympics – but one Hartlepool designer will still be leaving his mark on this summer’s sporting extravaganza.
Stuart Langley has designed 110 Olympic-themed pin badges, all of which are set to become future collectors’ items as official mementos of London 2012.
The intricate pins, which are unveiled by Coca-Cola today, depict famous London landmarks, iconic moments in British popular culture and typically British traits.
And they could cause quite a stir this summer as thousands are expected to be bought and swapped by visitors and tourists taking part in pin trading.
Stuart, who lives on the Headland, still can’t quite believe he has played a part in the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet.
He only graduated from Cleveland College of Art and Design four years ago, but it was 12 months ago when his design work with Middlesbrough-based company Twist Design impressed Coca-Cola bosses.
To his delight, he was asked to take part in the “top secret” project and got to work on designing the pins.
“I couldn’t have dreamed a year ago that I would be working with Coca-Cola on the Olympic Games. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m still pinching myself now,” said Stuart.
“A lot of the work I do is print or online so this was something completely different. But it’s something I would absolutely love to do again.”
After hearing of his opportunity, Stuart immediately started to brainstorm his ideas before starting his sketches.
He then took his work to a computer before sending the final product to China for the pins to be created.
The iconic London bus, 10 Downing Street and the British Bulldog are just some of the pins which Stuart designed.
“I haven’t seen the full set just yet, but I have seen some of them and they look amazing,” said Stuart.
“Pin trading is something which will be relatively new to the UK but it all helps to bring people together.
“Hopefully my designs will encourage people to get out there and have fun with the pins.
“It’s been an amazing experience designing them and working with Coca-Cola.
“I get a real kick out of being part of the legacy that Coca-Cola and the Olympics is creating. It’s incredible to think that some of my designs could be sold as vintage pieces in years to come.
Julia Zeen, 30 from Brighton joined Stuart in designing the 182 pins. Four of them, designed for the opening and closing ceremonies, are set to become highly prized collectors’ items as only a limited number are being produced.
To order one of the pins, visit www.cokestore2012.co.uk.