Paris 2024 presented its pictograms and gave clues about what the venues will look like

The visual identity of the next Olympic Games embodies French elegance, a bold aesthetic and the symbolism of the cobblestone streets that can be found in the urban landscapes of “the city of light”.

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Presentation of the pictograms for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Presentation of the pictograms for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Pictograms are part of the identity of each Olympic event. Its colors and lines are a stamp that endures in the collective memory of sports fans and of the athletes themselves. In addition to being a constitutive part of the communication of the event, there is a romantic question surrounding them. Seeing a pictogram is an instant trip to the Olympic Games they represented. A trip that is always accompanied by a bit of nostalgia.

Paris 2024 is already starting to have color in our eyes and shape in our hearts. This Wednesday, the sports pictograms were presented, accompanied by some visual and brand concepts, less than 18 months before the start of the Olympic Games. The organizers believe that the new designs will constitute “a cultural revolution” by mixing new elements.

There will be 62 different pictograms, eight of which will be shared by Paralympic sports with the replacement of the Agitos symbol instead of the Olympic Rings. This new design will use the colors blue, red, green and violet to communicate the richness and diversity of France. Each of them will serve as a “badge of honor” and will represent not only a sporting discipline, but also a family, a sense of pride, values and a community.

Julie Matikhine, brand manager for Paris 2024, described some of the approaches that encompass these pictograms: “The aspect of sports will have references to cubism and also to our history of revolutions; in addition, there is a reference to the cobblestones that we have on all the streets of the city.”

Matikhine also spoke about the role that International Federations have played in the development of the design of the new pictograms: “They played their part in the creating process. For fencing, for example, the pictogram shows the three different types of weapons, with the foil and the sword above and the sabre below. There is a kind of finesse in the detail and precision of sporting effort. We discussed the design of the mask a lot with the International Federation to have the best possible representation.”

Pictograms have been part of the Olympic Games since Tokyo 1964. They were born as a simple way of identifying sports in a country like Japan, whose syllabary of hiragans and katakanas, added to the kanji system, are difficult to understand for those who do not speak or read the Japanese language. Each host country has since tried to go one step further and every edition of the Games has seen changes in style.

Regarding the use of color at a more conceptual level, at the 2024 Olympic Games there will be a predominance of blue in stadiums, but the main novelty has to do with some customization in the brand identity for each venue. For example, the Stade de France, home of athletics, will have a purple tone, including the competition track. And the Marseille sub-headquarters, the home of sailing and one of the football stadiums, will look different from that of Paris. “We’re obsessed with the idea of innovating, creating experiences and emotions that haven’t been done before,” Matkhine said at Wednesday’s presentation.

The organizers explained that the main decision regarding color was to abandon red, the protagonist of the stadiums in Tokyo 2020. For the Olympic Games in the Japanese capital, red was extremely important for television because of the lack of an audience in the stadiums. For Paris 2024, the visual quest will be to reduce the intensity on the playing fields so that sport is the absolute protagonist. The OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Services), responsible for the audiovisual generation of the Olympic Games, was very influential in these aesthetic decisions in competition areas.

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Tony Estanguet, president of Paris 2024, indicated that the Organizing Committee is working to provide “a window for the Games”, showing iconic places with an innovative visual identity.

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