Logo Design for Olympic Games- Amatourish or Professional?

About 90% of the people on this Earth watch the Olympic games, something like a mass psychosis. I’m not much of a sports fan but I’m interested in all related to design so… Does anyone remember the logos of Olympic games, either in 1956 or in 2008? The distinctive feature of these logos- basically all of them have the same elements: Olympic rings, year, city and some specific symbol that is supposed to reflect the city, the country and its traditions.

Frankly speaking there are just a few Olympic logos that I like and none of them were designed in the last 20 years.В  So what’s the reason? Is it my personal perception and bad taste or logos are really amatourish? Olympic games is a huge event and though lots of money is spent on the logo design I have the feeling that logo developers and International Olympic Committee are the only one who know what was the idea to follow when designing a logo. I understand the lack of technology in the earlier years and the lack of social researches but what about now?

Sochi, 2014, winter games

The color of the logo corresponds to the color of the Russian flag. White is the symbol of winter, blue-the bright sky, red- for the place called “Red Medows” where the games will take place.Personally I don’t like the sharp edges of this logo, it doesn’t look friendly and it doesn’t look inviting to visit the Olympic games in Russia.

London, 2012, summer games

The logo itself is the pastiche of the year of the games- 2012. The design of this logo run to £400,000 and there were lots of talks on the logo presentation that this design is so positive and people will definitely feel in London just like at home but…people didn’t like this approach and now the developer has to redesign it.

Vancouver, 2010, winter games

Have no idea at all what it means…I kinda like this one, maybe that a snowboard, who knows

Pekin, 2008, summer games

В В  В  В  В  В 

The logo of Olympic games that were held in Pekin this yeas was given a name “Chinese Seal-Dancing Beijing”. It combines the elements of Chinese calligraphy and resembles a Chinese hero “Jing” who is the guard of the city where the Olympic games took place. I don’t know why but the lines of their icon resembles me stumbleupon logo.

Turin, 2006, winter games

On the logo of this Olympic games we are supposed to see a silhouette of Moleantonellina ( anyone know what is this or who is this?). It smoothly flows into the mountain image surrounded with the ice, where the snow merges with the sky. The ice crystals are tied tightly meaning the Olympic Unity. Pardon me and in no way i want to sound rude, but the only thing this icon remains me is the bast when I squeeze it in my hands.

Athens, 2004, summer games

The logo of summer Olympic games in 2004 emotes the olive wreath. The olive wreath goes back to the ancient Olympic games and the olive is the sacred symbol of Athens. Simple and almost perfect though in my opinion olives should be green, not blue.

Salt Lake City, 2002, winter games

The logo is a 3-colored bright snowflake- yellow, orange and blue. These are the colors one can see in the Utah state, from deserts to snowy mountains This variant of logo was chosen from1200 samples, well, not bad at all, but I don’t see any super sense but a nice snowflake.

Sydney, 2000, summer game

On the logo we can see the figure of a sportsman. Boomerang, sun and rocks merging into the bay and beaches on the red background should give is the feeling of Australian landscape. Wow, I just would see a running man if not the explanation I read.


Nagano, 1998, winter games

Logo is a flower on every lobe of each you can see the sportsman who represents this or that type of a winter competition. Same time the logo resembles the snowflake and the mountain flower making an accent on nature protection in Nagano. Nice flower, I guess I just need to learn more of a history.


Atlanta, 1996, summer games

100 in this logo informs that this is being the 100 year now that Olympic games are held. The flame flows into the star- the symbol that every sportsman wants to be perfect. Gold is the color of the gold medals, green is the color of the olive wreath and Atlanta city- the city of trees. I would actually thought about flames of fire going to the sky as a sacrifice for a good Olympic season.


Lillehammer, 1994, winter games

What we can see on this logo is aurora polaris and the snowflakes. The authors of this logo were inspired by nature as the aurora polaris is a phenomena you can often see in Norway. For me it resembles the wall of some ancient stadium or arena in Greece which is also not bad.


Barselona, 1992, summer games

This logo was developed by Hose Maria Trias from Barselona, where she emoted a person jumping through a 5 rings barrier.


Albertville, 1992, winter games

On the logo we can see the Olympic fire in the colors of Savoya region… not sure about the rest


Seoul, 1988, summer games

The pattern we can see on the logo is called samtaeguk which is traditional for Korea and is widely used in folk art. Movement around center means people from all over the world coming to Korea, moving to the center means the human being stepping into the future looking for happiness. I like this candy,looks pretty attractive and sweet.


Calgari, 1988, winter games

Snowflake with Olympic rings on top, same time resembling a maple-leaf with is the symbol of Canada. It also has lots of “c” which is the first letter of Canada and Calgari.
Jason Seiler
17 Nov 2021

Amazing Caricatures by Jason Seiler

The career of a lot of famous and talented artists started in…

03 Jun 2010

Put The Light On! Original Lamp Designs.

The aesthetics, creative ideas, unusual design solutions - all rolled into a…

Written by

Allison Reed

Allison is a professional SEO specialist and an inspired author. Marketing manager by day and a writer by night, she is creating many articles on business, marketing, design, and web development. Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.


  • stef
    June 9, 2010

    The Vancouver 2010 logo symbolizes an Inuksuk, it is a native art form where stones are piled up on one another to form a human-like structure.

Post Comment

Your email address will not be published.