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Beijing Olympic pictograms


Over on Designboom at the moment, there's a fantastic interview with Min Wang, design director for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and Dean of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA).
For the past five years his design studio, Square Two, together with faculty members and students at CAFA, and the olympic art research center at CAFA, have been heavily involved the design work for the beijing olympics. (It'll be interesting to see if the London 2012 Olympics identity involves London design colleges in any way at all. We're not holding our breath...)
Min Wang's team have been working on identity guidelines, pictograms (above), medals, the way-finding systems, the core graphic, the look for the torch relay, and the overall look of the games. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
The pictograms use strokes of seal characters as their inspiration - they're kind of bonkers aren't they? And they don't half remind us of this postcard from Tom Gauld. Hmmm... Tom Gauld to do the pictograms for the 2012 Olympics... that's not a bad idea...
The pictograms cover the following sports: rowing, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoe / kayak flatwater, canoe / kayak slalom, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, weightlifting, handball, hockey, judo, wrestling, swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, water polo, modern pentathlon, softball, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing, volleyball and beach volleyball.
Most of those we get - though the distinction between baseball and softball is a bit fuzzy, trampolining looks more like falling-over, and the triathalon seems to involve escaping a swarm of insects.
Check out this page for a full list of what's what, as well as examples of the pictograms from previous games.
posted: 8 July 2008
categories: Graphics
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