studiotwentysix2 the art + design of tom davie

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Beijing 2008

Since I recently brought up the wonders of the pictograph, consider this post a timely, yet discerning follow-up.

Due to the influx of different languages associated with the Olympic games, pictographs have been incorporated as a kind of universal wayfinding signage system. The intent of the pictograph, is to communicate each athletic event through the use of a simplified image, without having to rely upon written text. Below are the pictographs for the upcoming 2008 Summer Games, this link, gives a brief summary of style choice and design credits.


In addition to the 2008 pictographs, the web page features a selection of other Olympic pictographs beginning with the 1964 Tokyo games. I love the stylistic contrast between the 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich games, which are only four years apart, but on opposite ends of the pictograph spectrum. Mexico City is organic, dynamic and full of energy, while Munich is geometric, minimal and precise. This example typifies how artists from different cultures and schools of thought, can end up with radically different, yet equally successful results.


  • 2008 Olympic Pictographs
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