designs from the Olympic Museum

7 December, 2016

the Olympic flame

In Lausanne at the weekend I visited the Olympic Museum, one of the town’s best known attractions, in the home of the IOC. There’s not much dedicated archery material apart from the bow Zhang JuanJuan used to win the women’s individual title in Beijing, but it isn’t really about sport-specific stuff. If you are interested in the Olympics generally I recommend a visit if you’re in that part of the world.

My favourite part was the section dedicated to Olympic design and communication. One of the most popular posts I have ever put up here was the the piece I did about Olympic pictograms, which still quietly ratchets up thousands of views every year.

Outside archery I have an extensive interest in design and typography, and the best Olympic design work is enormously influential on spreading ideas about visual design, as well as becoming part of national identity and collective memories, shaping global perceptions for decades to come. I still think the clean, modern ‘Swiss’ work done in the late 60s and early 70s remains particularly strong.

The designs for the first two Japanese Games – Tokyo ’64 and Sapporo ’72  – were exceptionally good. I really hope that whoever is on the case for 2020 delivers something that matches them.

There’s plenty of resources about Olympic design on the web, I recommend Adam Harris’s Pinterest page as a good jumping off point.




that radio is awesome








Awesome Mexico ’68 dresses, actually worn by some of the volunteers!

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