Beijing 2022; Pictograms


Press release


Beijing capped an exciting year of preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Thursday with the release of the Games’ official sports pictograms, which were inspired by traditional Chinese seal engraving.

With some of the country’s top sports and entertainment celebrities in attendance, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Beijing 2022) unveiled the pictograms at a televised countdown party on New Year’s Eve, a major milestone in preparations with co-host city Zhangjiakou, Hebei province for the winter sports gala.

The set of 24 pictograms for the Olympic Winter Games identifies each of the disciplines across seven sports. However, freestyle skiing and snowboard have six and five icons respectively in order to represent the different equipment and courses used in these disciplines. Six symbols identify each of the sports at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.

Designed based on traditional Chinese seal engraving, each of the pictograms depicts its respective event with unique strokes – like those carved with a knife on Chinese seals dating back to the Qin and Han dynasties. The pictograms embody both the motion of winter sports and China’s rich culture in modern graphics.

The sharp contrast between the red background and white strokes highlights the grace and dynamism of winter sports, and adds a festive vibe to the Games, which will echo the Chinese Lunar New Year in 2022.

“The release of the sports pictograms marks the progress in our preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 over the past year in a visually strong fashion,” said Gao Tian, deputy director of the Culture and Ceremonies Department of Beijing 2022.

“It’s another example of presenting time-honored Chinese art in a modern way and integrating the quintessence of Chinese culture into sports presentation on the Olympic and Paralympic stage.”

As one of the main graphic elements of the Games, pictograms are widely used in areas such as event signposting, advertising, communications, TV broadcasting and souvenir design. In addition to their traditional context, the sports pictograms must primarily function flawlessly as a simple, internationally understandable representation of the respective sport.

The newly released pictograms were developed in line with the style of the Games’ emblems, with both graphic elements designed by the same group led by Lin Cunzhen, an associate professor at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Drawing on inspiration from the Beijing 2008 pictograms, the 2022 version also incorporates the art of calligraphy.

“We designed these pictograms based on two principles – to stay consistent with the Games’ entire visual appearance and to echo the design used at the 2008 Summer Games to highlight Beijing’s unique status as the world’s only city so far to host both Summer and Winter Games,” said Lin, who is also an art director of the Culture and Ceremonies Department of the Beijing 2022.

The craft of engraving is better suited to portray the power and speed of winter sports than the smooth style of calligraphy used in 2008. It took the design team half a year to handle the challenge of depicting every sport distinctively, with hundreds of sketches drawn and countless modifications made, according to Lin.

Brainstorming with sports managers and international consultants from Beijing 2022’s Sports Department also contributed to the design with invaluable insights.

For example, the visual angle of the logo for speed skating was adjusted from the conventional sideline to the head-on angle, as per suggestions from the sports department to differentiate it from short-track speed skating and better capture the movement of athletes, explained Lin.

The design of the sports pictograms has earned a resounding thumbs-up from all the relevant International Federations (IFs), said Tong Lixin, head of Beijing 2022’s Sports Department.

“We followed their suggestions to make some adjustments to certain details, which put the icing on the cake,” Tong said of the feedback from the IFs.

“Eventually, all IFs approved the design with high praise for its innovation and unique Chinese style.”

The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 are scheduled to take place from Feb 4 to 20 in three venue zones – downtown Beijing, its northwest Yanqing district and Zhangjiakou, followed by the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games from March 4 to 13.

Tokyo 2020; Uniforms for Technical Officials Unveiled

Uniforms for Technical Officials

©The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
©The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
©The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games


Press release after the break.

Continue reading “Tokyo 2020; Uniforms for Technical Officials Unveiled”

Tokyo 2020; Posters Paralympic Games

Hirohiko Araki, Manga Artist, The Sky above The Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa (©Tokyo 2020)
Koji Kakinuma, Calligrapher, Open (©Tokyo 2020)
GOO CHOKI PAR, Graphic Designer, PARALYMPIAN (©Tokyo 2020)
Tomoyuki Shinki, Artist, Offense No.7 (©Tokyo 2020)
Mika Ninagawa, Photographer, Film Director, Higher than the Rainbow (©Tokyo 2020)
Chihiro Mori, Artist, Beyond the Curve(Five Thousand Rings) (©Tokyo 2020)
Akira Yamaguchi, Painter, Horseback Archery (©Tokyo 2020)

Tokyo 2020; Posters Olympic Games

Naoki Urasawa, Manga Artist, Now it’s your turn! (©Tokyo 2020)
Shinro Ohtake, Painter, Space Kicker (©Tokyo 2020)
Daijiro Ohara, Graphic Designer, flow line (©Tokyo 2020)
Shoko Kanazawa, Calligrapher, FLY HIGH ! (©Tokyo 2020)
Tomoko Konoike, Artist, Wild Things-Hachilympic (©Tokyo 2020)
Taku Satoh, Graphic Designer, OLYMPIC CLOUD (©Tokyo 2020)
Takashi Homma, Photographer, TOKYO CHILDREN (©Tokyo 2020)
Theseus Chan, Art Director, EXTREME REVELATIONS (©Tokyo 2020)
Chiris Ofili, Artist, The Games People Play (©Tokyo 2020)
Viviane Sassen, Photographer, Ludus (©Tokyo 2020)
Philippe Weisbecker, Artist, Olympic Stadium (©Tokyo 2020)

Book recommendation; Otl Aicher – Guidelines and Standards for the Visual Design The Games of the XX Olympiad Munich 1972

From the publisher:

Guidelines and Standards for the Visual Design The Games of the XX Olympiad Munich 1972
Otl Aicher

German with booklet in English, French, Spanish, 22 Ausklappbögen / 44 pages, 22.5 / 63 x 30 cm, ring binder
ISBN 978-3-7212-0999-0
Release date: 10/2019


_First reprint ever of the original manual of most famous design for Olympic Games
_With booklet including all texts in English, French and Spanish
_Ring binder in original style with 22 foldout sheets
_Design concept set new standards for branding and corporate identity

Almost a quarter of a century after the end of National Socialism in Germany, Otl Aicher was commissioned to design the “cheerful” Olympic Games in Munich 1972. He systematically and scientifically approached this task and liberated visual communication from national pathos by reducing it to the essential in the Bauhaus sense: the use. The manual, completed in 1967, contains a flexible system of colors, forms and fonts that enabled Aicher’s team and partners to “play freely” and saved “unnecessary preparatory work and time-consuming detailed decisions”.

With the use of this kind of visual grammar more than 100 design areas were developped. They were successfull to create an extraordinary broad impact of the appearance and set new standards for branding and corporate design. Munich 1972 is still regarded as the most successful design project of all the Olympic Games.

You can order this book here.


Source: Braun Publishing AG / niggli Verlag

Book recommendation; Olympic Games – The Design by Markus Osterwalder


From the publisher:

Olympic Games – The Design
Markus Osterwalder

English, 2 x 776 pages, 6000 illustrations, 21 x 28.5 cm, 2 hardcover volumes in box
ISBN 978-3-7212-1000-2
Release date: 10/2019


_The design of all Olympic Games of modern times including Tokyo 2020
_Author has the worldwide biggest collection of Olympic objects
_With essays by leading designers on selected design topics
_Olympic design as study of coporate identity

Is there a bigger challenge for a designer than the creation of an identity for the Olympic Games? Each venue has developed its own unique image, merging national spirit and international trends with the Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity and fairness. “Olympic Games – The Design” provides an in-depth overview of the history of the Games, with for the first time the visual appearance in the center of attention: logos, mascots, medals, pictograms, uniforms, tickets, luggage tags, posters, souvenirs and much more.

The author Markus Osterwalder presents a total of around 6,000 illustrations on over 1,500 pages in two volumes with 58 chapters including astonishing facts and stories about who created what and how. For each of the Games, the passionate Swiss collector has systematically chosen examples from the fields of graphic design, typography, fashion design and product design that enable viewers and readers to fully grasp the design identity of the respective Games. In addition, this title also shows an extraordinarily exciting development in the field of corporate identity and brand design.

You can order this book here.


Source: Braun Publishing AG / niggli Verlag