Historical overview of Olympic logos

With the reaction to the new Olympic logo still bubbling away I thought it would be interesting to see some of the past Olympic logos that have been used.

I came across a great site, sportslogos.net, they have logos going back to the 1896 Summer Olympics and the 1924 Winter Olympics. There's a lot of great logos in there, interestingly there is the 1948 London Olympics logo, it's a stark contrast to the newly announced logo:

London Olympics 1948 logoLondon 2012 Olympics Logo

It's hard to imagine two designs so different in approach really.

Recent Olympic Logos

I was keen to see the last few olympics logos from both the Summer and Winter Olympics, here's a few of them.

Summer Olympics:

Sydney 2000 Olympics logoAthens 2004 Olympics logo

Beijing 2008 Olympics logoThe two most recent Olympic logos and also the logo for the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympics.

A key aspect of these logos is that they reflect the culture of these countries in a very clear way. Some may consider them to be clichés but I think they depict the countries quite well.

View past Summer Olympic logos... 


Winter Olympics:

Salt Lake Winter Olympics 2002 logoTorino Winter Olympics 2006 logo

Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 logoI think I like the Winter Olympic logos more than the Summer ones, I prefer the Winter Olympics to watch as well. These logos are very distinct and work well in various media just as the London 2012 logo is intended to do.

Interestingly the Vancouver 2010 logo is made up of 5 separate shapes just like the London 2012, but the difference in aesthetic is huge in my opinion. The shapes are much softer, the colours more appealing and the figure depicted by the shapes  represents Canadian culture, the symbol means the word 'friend' in the native american Inuktitut dialect.


I really like the simplicity of the Vancouver 2010 logo, it also has a very simple message behind, that of being a friend to the world and welcoming the countries of the world to the Olympics I guess.

Many would perhaps say that these are too simplistic and that the London 2012 logo is pushing the boundaries of what has been done before, but from a simple aesthetic point of view they are just a lot friendlier than the London 2012 design.

View the past Winter Olympic logos...

Body swap

Given that the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 logos both have 5 main sections I thought it would be interesting to see how they would look with their colour schemes swapped over.

Alternative Vancouver 2010 logoAlternative London 2012 logo

It's interesting how much of an impact the shapes still have when these colour schemes are swapped over. I anticipated that the London 2012 logo would actually look a lot better in a more mellow colourway, but actually it still looks quite stark. The pink figure for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics actually still looks quite soft and friendly despite being a pretty in-your-face shocking pink.

So, it will take both a colour scheme change and a smoother aesthetic for the London 2012 logo to seem friendlier and more appealing.

Maybe something like this?

London 2012 logo - with applied bezier curves! Heh heh, maybe not! I thought it would be funny to see what the London 2012 logo looks like if you apply some bezier curve tool action to it! We'd joked in the office today that maybe the copy of Illustrator used to draw out the logo had non-functioning bezier curve tools, hence the sharp angles of the logo ;)

Oh well, enough playing around with this logo, I can't look at it much longer!

~Rick



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Tags: popular,london 2012 olympics,olympic logo,2012,logo design,logo

Originally published on 2007-06-08 00:25:32 by Rick Curran

Last edited on 2007-06-08 02:43:52 by Rick Curran

Permalink: http://suburbia.org.uk/blog/2007/06/08/002532.html

Visitor Comments:

Left by lol on 2007-06-18 11:48:41 #

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Left by Bobthegoat on 2007-06-18 13:53:28 #

What has this got to do with the price of pie?

Left by Timothy Chang on 2008-08-20 12:31:21 #

Cool! I wonder what it would look like when the Beijing symbol if it is in some year in Beijing again.

Left by John Hopkins on 2008-09-16 03:35:35 #

ugly London 2010. Agree?

Left by Rick Curran on 2008-11-06 21:33:46 #

@John Hopkins: Yep, I think it is quite ugly, although I don't think it was intended to be 'beautiful' in the first place!

It doesn't look quite so bad when not used in dayglow colour schemes. Still, not my favourite logo that's for sure!

Left by Ellie Batchelor on 2009-06-02 01:40:16 #

i love tha new olimpic symbol but its boring and needs more coulour to advertise the bright streets of london!!

Left by alfie on 2010-03-24 03:14:46 #

why is pi 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097499459230781

Left by Rick Curran on 2010-03-24 03:17:21 #

@Alfie:

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