Olympic Pictograms

pictogramsOne of the things that I’ve always liked about the Olympics are the pictograms. A pictogram is a graphic symbol that conveys meaning through its resemblance to a physical object. Traffic symbols involving silhouettes of cars and bikes are good examples. They get information across quickly and you don’t need to under stand the language to get the meaning.

So it is with the Olympics. Need to know where a specific event is but don’t read Japanese very well? Here is a teeny tiny representation of the sport you are looking for…. and its over there!

The archery pictograms have varied considerably over the years. From extremely stylized archer with baggy pants, though fusion of archer and chinese character. From classical iconography to post post modern. From accurate representation of an archer in the act of shooting, to a chap who looks like he’s getting down and funky while holding a bow.

The variety just in the last 9 Olympics (the Korean Years! ;o) has been pretty vast and you can compare and contrast them in the pic to the right. For once we’re not going to critique the form being show by the images, our editors head might explode considering the 2016 icon’s dynamic release/ole gesture.

My personal favourite is the 1992 Barcelona icon with its funky disco dancer closely followed by the Beijing image which just seems so right! Hopefully you’ll have a favourite as well.

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