POSTED: November 9th 2013

Olympic Games Sport Pictograms Launched by Rio 2016

Rio 2016 Olympic Pictograms / Rio 2016
Rio 2016 Olympic Pictograms / Rio 2016

Rio 2016 Paralympic Pictograms / Rio 2016
Rio 2016 Paralympic Pictograms / Rio 2016

MARISSA FLANDERS / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) On Thursday, the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games launched their sport pictograms, as they continue the tradition of describing the sports on its programs through graphic icons for each edition of the Games.

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the President of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee stated, “For the first time, all Olympic and Paralympic sports are individually represented. This is one of our unique contributions to the history of the Games.”

The Rio 2016’s group of designers wanted to interpret the integration of the athletes’ different impairments with sport in a poised, natural way portraying blindfolds, prostheses, and other components.

‘Painted word’, the primary meaning of ‘pictogram’ was the inspiration for the first developments of the Rio 2016 pictograms, which were based off the official Rio2016 typography.

The first strokes were made by hand after the researching of each sport. The handmade strokes were recreated on a computer and the contours of the letters were formatted.  The bodies of the athlete and sports equipment were developed from the characters, a part of them, in a constant stroke, using numerous thicknesses to give the notion of depth. The characteristic of Rio 2016’s visual language was represented by the pebble shapes, which supported the designs and were altered according to the different movements of the athletes.

Five total months were dedicated to the validation of them by the 42 International Federations. The whole project was finished in 16 months with a total of 64 pictograms, 41 Olympic and 23 Paralympic. The pictograms can be used in all colors and both inside and outside the pebbles.

“The pictograms, from now until 2016, will serve as a communication platform for the promotion of the sports, for partner activations, and will be present in all the Games’ visual identity, including their application in venue decoration, signposting, tickets and licensed products, among other things,” Beth Lula the Rio 2016 Brand Director said.

The Rio 2016 font project started in July of 2012; it was one of the advances of the Games’ branding program. Dalton Maag, the developer of the typographic concept, became inspired by the Rio 2016 logo’s letters and numbers, along with the spirit of the Games and that its transformation and passion is what links both the Olympic and Paralympic brands.

The font characterized contours of Rio like the calçadão de Copacabana (Copacabana promenade), in which the letters ‘m’ and ‘n’ are represented, and the Pedra da Gávea (a mountain in Rio de Janeiro), where the letter ‘r’ is depicted. Each letter was drawn with one, uninterrupted stroke that is swift and flowing to suggest the athletes are moving.

It was decided to arrange an internal design team for the development of the Games’ main graphic elements. A group of 28 other Rio 2016 staff were added to be completely involved with the creation of the pictograms.

Keywords · Rio 2016 · Olympic · Paralympic · pictograms · Olympic Games

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