Cobi, the eccentric dog, was created by Javier Mariscal, who was born in Valencia in 1950. Established in Barcelona, where he has managed the “Estudio Mariscal” since 1989, his unique, avant-garde style is reflected in cartoons, industrial and textile designs, paintings, sculptures and interior decoration projects. This jack of all trades therefore has many important creations to his name: Barcelona zoo’s graphic identity; Madrid’s candidature for the 2012 Olympic Games; the creation of the Hannover Expo 2000 mascot (called Twipsy); and the interior fit-out of the Lighthouse – Scotland’s Centre of Architecture in Glasgow, the Gran Hotel Rimini in Italy, and the Gran Hotel Domine in Bilbao, among others.
However, the Cobi mascot had a mixed reception when it was first presented: its avant-garde look is in contrast to the more child-like style of previous mascots. For the record, novelist Manuel Vazquez Montalban defended Cobi, saying: “I am pro-Cobi. He is a homage to all the dogs run over at Barcelona’s motorway toll booth.”* Finally, the smiling dog, who was represented practising all sorts of sports, managed to overcome everyone’s reticence and was adopted by the public.
*Quote taken from the Olympic Review, September-October 1990, page 443.