The designer of the mascots of the 17th FINA World Championships feels like being in another world while working. His daughters were his hardest criticisers during the designing period. Exclusive interview with Tibor Tatai, designer of Lilly and Willy.
He just jotted his first ideas spontaneously, brainstormed around the basic elements of the mascot. The following words were written down: sweet, lovely, kids, fit in hands. He appointed the conception to use the most essential characteristics of the official logo and design elements of the World Championships. This was the basis of all ideas. While using drops, Tibor was trying to interpret the sense of water, emphasizing that the Event is about more than aquatics.
The figure needs to have a message that represents Hungary, too. Our country has a very rich water supply, thermal baths, spas, and popular, beloved lakes. I tried considering the fact that he Hungarian water is world-famous, and I would have liked to show it, while keeping it simple.
The shape of a water lily worked out the best, because it is very simple to connect with water. There is a Hungarian phrase: ‘Who loves flowers, can’t be a bad person.’ The flower is a beloved and positive symbol, being similar to the logo, it seemed the perfect solution. In nature, water lilies are decorations of lakes, can be found in gardens, homes as well in city parks. It is a lovely, simple and nice form.
Thanks to the immense interest surrounding the World Championships, Tibor felt responsibility that can be sometimes terrifying to someone not used to such amount of attention. However, his happiness for the creation is tremendous, he is grateful for having been able to create a mascot representing one of the greatest natural treasures of the country. Especially since the occasion is the greatest event Hungary has ever hosted, the FINA World Championships.