Wired: Decoding the Hidden Meanings of Olympic Symbols

The symbols, designed to instantly communicate the essence of a sport, are in some ways quite literal. Cycling features a bicycle, equestrian a horse, basketball, well, a basketball. Yet designers invariably infuse these illustrations with elements that reflect the culture of the host city.

The history of Olympic pictograms

The evolution of ten Olympic event pictographs from 1964 to present

See also

Craft and creativity

The evolution of Olympic pictograms

“Many of the pictograms you see are designed to represent the country or city where the Olympics are happening,” says Joel Grear of Malcolm Grear Designers, who created the pictograms of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. — Wired

Gallery

Rio 2016

99u.com: How The 2016 Olympic Logo and Font were CreatedRoughly 18 months after the Rio 2016 logo was developed by Tátil Design, Dalton Maag got the prompt to design the full font.

“Our prompt was that the font had to be an exact replica of the letters in the logo,” says Maag, who knew it would be a challenge due to its reverse creative process. “Usually you make the font and then do the logo,” he notes. Dalton Maag had 3 letters — R-I-O — and 4 figures — 2-0-1-6 — to use as a roadmap.

“You could say, we already have the letters ‘R,’ ‘i,’ and ‘o’ and we want to make letters that look like them, so we could just expand on them. But the tricky thing is that we can’t use the same letters because they might not connect, or have the same weight and proportions, as with the rest of the letters in the alphabet. So we started using different words — ‘passion’ and ‘transformation’ — that had multiple ligatures to see how one letter could connect and match with another.”

See also

  • Channel 4’s surreal new brand identity — By creative dream team of 4Creative, Jonathan Glazer, Neville Brody and DBLG.
  • Sweden Sans — A national typeface meant to encapsulate fuzzy Scandinavian concepts — progressivism, authenticity, lagom (Swedish for “just the right amount”).
  • …and other posts tagged ‘typography’.
Craft and creativity

How the 2016 Olympic font was created

“On this project we were extra careful to be super right, because it will be seen by billions of people. But we didn’t treat the project any differently than others were work on. I thought we would nail the concept much quicker, because we knew the design and just needed to expand on it. We didn’t realize we would have to create 23 different versions to get there.”

Gallery
EightByEight magazine looks at the ‘cheat sheets’ of two sports commentators:
BBC’s Nick Barnes and NBC’s Arlo White.

Barnes creates a detailed two-page spread for each match he commentates for BBC Radio Newcastle. The notes are divided into two color-coded segments: The left-hand page contains background information on Sunderland’s opposition—the club’s starting XI from its last fixture, previous results, and stadium details—while the right-hand side is updated in real time as the action happens.

NBC Sports’s lead football commentator Arlo White devised his system of note-taking from watching other commentators in action. He cites legendary commentator Barry Davies as a personal hero—and his notes, which White was once shown at Wembley Stadium, as an inspiration. “They were beautifully handwritten, detailed and meticulous,” he said.

Miscellany

The art of sports commentary

“Behind every great football match is a great commentator, and in front of every commentator is a set of notes. BBC Radio Newcastle’s Nick Barnes and NBC Sports’ Arlo White have some of the best—and most unique—in the business.” – EightByEight magazine

Gallery

Lars Andersen: a new level of archery

This is superhero-level archery!

Update: This video has been debunked by Geek Dad

“If he wanted to shoot like the master archers of old, he would have to unlearn what he had learned,” the narrator tells us. If Andersen had ever actually learned anything from real archers before going on his historical quest, he would have had a lot less to unlearn. What he had learned is the usual collection of bad habits that self-taught amateur archers always display, many of which continue unabated in his new, allegedly historic techniques.

He is a terrible archer who can shoot fast. He shoots very fast. He shoots very badly very fast.
Danish “Archer” Demonstrates Gullibility of Audience

I have to admit that despite knowing nothing about archery, a few things about the video did give me pause. I usually pride myself on being more careful about sharing nonsense and this time I should have listened to the nagging voice in my head.

Football
Humans and other animals

Football, football, football…

A great analogy from redditor TheHoneyThief about what it’s like to be someone who doesn’t care about football from a thread in r/britishproblems:

Firstly, imagine every time within a day that football is mentioned by someone else. Secondly, replace it with something that you don’t want to hear about every day. Say… Archaeology. Then, think about how an average day would pan out.

So, you awaken to the clock radio. It’s 7AM. Just as you awaken, it’s time for the news and archaeology already. Not news and other historical investigations, like library restorations or museum openings (unless there’s another event happening), but just the news and archaelogy. Malaysian plane is still missing. Pistorius is still on trial. New dig announced in Giza. Ancient Mayan temple discovered. Exciting stuff.

Time for a bite to eat over the morning TV. More news. More archaeology. Yes, you are aware of what is up with the missing plane. Fine. Now the archaeology in video format. Video of people dusting off some skulls and bits of pottery. All well and good, but archaeology isn’t your thing. It would be nice to hear about something else. Even when it isn’t archaeology season, the media follow noted archaeologists. They drive fast cars, have sex with beautiful women, advertise fragrances, and sometimes they go to nightclubs and act in the worst possible way. Scandals erupt as the tabloids follow these new celebrities when they’re not searching the past for answers. It is entirely possible you can recite the names of certain researchers, even if you don’t pay attention to archaeology. You don’t know what transfer season is, but you know that someone was transferred to a dig in Peru for a sum of money that could fund the London Underground for two whole days.

Out of the car at 8:55 and into work. What are the colleagues talking about, I wonder? Oh, Jones dropped a 3,890 year old pot and smashed it? What a useless wanker! Someone should do something unpleasant to him. And don’t even ask about the unfortunate incident in Athens two years ago – you’ll be there all day! Breaking a pillar like that! We don’t talk about that here, mate. What? You don’t want to discuss the finer points of the prevalence of phallic imagery in Pompeii? Is there something wrong with you?

The drive home from work. Every thirty minutes, no matter the station, someone mentions the archaeology. Best sit in silence. Drive past a huge billboard with a black and white picture of a rakishly handsome archaeologist draped over an impossibly beautiful woman. He’s winking at you. Trowel in his left hand, supermodel in the right. Jurassic, by Calvin Klein.

And now the pub. A nice pub with a beer garden. Posters in the windows. LIVE EXCAVATION AT THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS! All of it on a huge TV with the volume up too loud. Drunken people yelling at the screen. “SEND IT FOR CARBON DATING, YOU USELESS CUNT!” “WHAT ARE YOU ON, MATE? DUST THE ANCIENT MEDALLION GENTLY! SMELTING METHODS OF THE TIME PRODUCED VERY SOFT AND IMPURE METALS EASILY PRONE TO DISFIGURATION!” All this from two men out of a crowd of twenty. One lousy drunken idiot and his chum ruin the image of other archaeology fans. Carbon dating report from the lab updates on TV, read by a man employed because they’ve been following the beautiful science since they were a boy. The drunk chimes in again. “WHAT PHARAOH’S REIGN DID YOU SAY? DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS SAYS ABOUT THE UNDERPINNINGS OF OUR THEORY OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF 4TH BC EGYPT? GET IN, MATE!” A cheer cascades through the building and you can only wonder why.

Best go home and avoid anyone who might be drinking and singing. You once met a disagreeable chap who threatened to beat you up because you didn’t watch the archaeology. “Not a late paleolithic era supporter are you? Think you’re better than me? I’ll fucking have you, you scrawny cunt!”

To bed. To repeat the cycle tomorrow. The inescapable, inevitability that wherever you go, someone, somewhere, is just dying to talk to you about the archaeology.


As great as that is, I feel a better comparison would be with another form of entertainment, like film, TV or music. Archeology may be irrelevant to most people’s day-to-day lives, but it still advances our knowledge of the world. What if the prominence given to football was given to country music or historical fiction instead?

Soccer ball icon by Ricardo Moreira

Standard