The Olympic and Paralympic Games commission has revealed, a few weeks ago, over 70 new pictograms depicting every sport in Tokyo 2020. The pictograms are designed to subtly communicate the characteristics and athleticism of each sport.
As a matter of fact, Tokyo 2020 will not be canceled, according to Olympics CEO Toshiro Muto, despite the growing concern amid the coronavirus pandemic. The decision by the IOC -International Olympic Committee- has obviously brought a backlash from a number of competitors that feel under pressure as they can’t keep the same training routine.
Olympic Games sports pictograms were first introduced at the Tokyo 1964 games, which arose from a need to communicate visually to an increasingly international group of athletes and spectators.
Since then, pictograms have been created for every edition of the games. The most important effort was made by Otl Aicher, for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. As lead designer, he created a set of pictograms meant to provide a visual interpretation of the sport they featured. So that athletes and visitors to the Olympic village and stadium could find their way around. In 2020, 33 sports will feature in the Olympic Games and some sports will use more than one pictogram.
“It is a real honor to have participated in the design of the Tokyo 2020 sports pictograms,” says Japanese designer Masaaki Shimomura. “I have tried to express the dynamic beauty of the athletes while respecting the legacy bequeathed by the pioneers of the Japanese design industry during the Tokyo 1964 games.”
We really appreciate how the entire system was set and animated, thanks to the art director Kota Iguch. Also we can’t help noticing that the color palette could be a clear reference to the Color Pantone of the Year 2020. Do you believe it is a coincidence?