Rio 2016 equestrian pictograms revealed

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The Olympic (top) and Paralympic equestrian pictograms for Rio 2016.
The Olympic (top) and Paralympic equestrian pictograms for Rio 2016.

The pictograms representing the individual sports of the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic games have been revealed.

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,” said Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman. “I congratulate the creative team for their dedication and hard work together with diverse groups who contributed to this launch,” said Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman.

The word ‘pictogram’ comes from Greek and Latin, meaning ‘painted word’. This original meaning was the source of inspiration for the first strokes of the Rio 2016 pictograms, which were based on the official Rio 2016 typography. After researching each sport, the first outlines were made by hand. These strokes were then reconstructed on a computer, fitting the contours of the letters.

The athlete bodies and sports equipment were built from the characters, or part of them, in a continuous stroke, with variations in thickness in order to give the impression of depth. The pebble shapes, which are a characteristic of Rio 2016’s visual language, support the designs and alter their shape according to the athletes’ different movements.

The symbols can be applied to different backgrounds.
The symbols can be applied to different backgrounds. © Alex Ferro

In total, there are 64 pictograms, 41 Olympic and 23 Paralympic . The pictograms can be used both inside and outside the pebbles, in all colours. The pictograms can be used both inside and outside the pebbles, in all colours.

The Rio 2016 Organising Committee set up an internal design team for the creation of the Games’ main graphic elements, probably one of the world’s most complex design projects. In addition to the designers, a group of 28 other Rio 2016 staff were directly involved in the development of the pictograms.

Work was completed in 16 months, five of which were devoted to the validation of the pictograms by the 42 International Federations.

Rio 2016’s Brand Director Beth Lula said from now until 2016, the pictograms 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.

The development project of the Rio 2016 font, launched in July 2012, was one of the innovations of the Games’ branding programme. The typographic concept, developed by Dalton Maag, was inspired by the letters and numbers of the Rio 2016 logo and the essence of the Games.

Based on the contours of Rio, the font represents elements such as the calçadão de Copacabana (Copacabana promenade), which is depicted in the letters ‘m’ and ‘n’, and the Pedra da Gávea (a mountain in Rio de Janeiro), which is depicted in the letter ‘r’. The letters are drawn with a single, continuous stroke, an agile and fluid movement that suggests the movement of athletes.

 

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