The original UIAA Safety Label logo is 50-years-old.
Fifty years ago, in an inspired moment, a universal seal of approval was born.
The UIAA logo which is recognized today around the world as a symbol of excellence, quality and safety was the spontaneous creation of a boy named Oliver, the son of Jean Juge, then vice-president of the UIAA Ropes Commission.
Under some pressure to come up with a logo that would be the “Seal of Approval” for mountaineering equipment, Juge turned to his son for help.
He asked Oliver to draw a mountain.
Juge added the circle and the letters UIAA inside it.
The logo stands for the values of the UIAA including love freedom, respect, risk awareness, decision-making and willpower, said Juge.
Within an hour, father and son had finalized the concept and the logo was registered in Switzerland that same year internationally a year later.
That mark of safety came to be associated with the UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation in the decades to come until 2001. That’s when the UIAA General Assembly decided the organization needed an improved symbol for the public and sponsors.
Many different proposals were received, but two years later, the General Assembly in Berchtensgaden, Germany decided to go with the familiar Safety logo with some minor modifications.
The circle was adjusted and the letters UIAA was placed below the mountain that Oliver drew.
The UIAA logo which drew inspiration from the original Safety Label logo.
Today, the UIAA represents over 3 million climbers and mountaineers from 85 member federations in 63 countries, and the symbol represents the best and highest standards in training, mountain protection, mountain medicine, youth activities and competition climbing.
The UIAA is also committed to Olympic ideals of fair play and international cooperation. For many young mountaineers, seeing that logo, which father and son drew, is their first encounter with the UIAA.
Merci Jean et Oliver.