History of Olympic pictograms


11 Responses to “History of Olympic pictograms”

  1. Ben Tew says:

    In 2010 Designer Steven Heller examined the history of Olympic Pictograms in a video for The New York Times.


  2. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I find the ball of yarn in bad taste given the USOC’s anti-knitting pogrom.

  3. niktemadur says:

    Beautiful, I clearly remember those exact symbols from growing up in Mexico.  At the time of Montreal 76, a  scrapbook and series of Summer Olympics cards with special emphasis on Mexico City 68 became the craze.  There were several categories of cards:  Ancient Greece events (depth jump a particular favorite of mine), modern Olympic cities, modern Olympic events, their Mexico City 68 symbols, etc.

    There were bikes to be won all over Mexico, for whoever turned in a completed scrapbook, and as with baseball cards, some were rarer than others.  Obviously, repeats were traded among friends.

    Here’s the thing:  there were three special cards (let’s say “Fencing symbol”, “lighting of the Olympic flame” and “artistic rendition of Grass Hockey”) with an Olympic seal in the back, and a filled scrapbook had to have those three special cards.  However, not all “Fencing symbol” cards had the seal, so if you bought a pack of cards, and it was there!… but no seal on the back, well thank you for playing and please try again.

    Extensive Googling turned up no images nor info on this scrapbook, bummer.  At least I tried.

  4. AitchJay says:

    Can anyone enlighten me as to what the bottom right one is?

  5. Lyle Hopwood says:

    There used to be an Olympic Arts competition? I wish there still was. (In the time it took me to figure out how to sign back in to disqus, I remembered the Monty Python Thomas Hardy novel-writing sketch and realized the truth though.)

  6. The brilliant simplicity in Wyman’s work prompted the Mexican government to commission him with the designs of the icons for each subway station. An important task because the Semiology of the symbols alone would have to be easily identifiable even by illiterate passengers.

    This would later have a great impact in subsequent generations of Mexican graphic designers.


Leave a Reply