Monday, November 2, 2009

Olympic Pictograms

Like all well designed pictograms, the pictograms for the London 2012 Olympic games are an example of form following function; their primary purpose being to communicate information. The design committee has used clean lines and simple, two dimensional shapes with a minimum of detail in achieving this purpose. Of course they have put a subtle stylistic spin on their designs as well. The defining elements of this design scheme are the extra lines which accompany each figure and the use of color. These extra lines extend form each figure on a vertical and/or horizontal axis. This gives a gridded feeling reminiscent of architectural or mechanical drawing. However, where those types of illustrations typically depict static objects, the grid lines serve to make the pictograms more dynamic by comparison. Each pictogram is composed of both turquoise and fuchsia lines which almost seem to be randomly assigned. Occasionally, each color represents a particular element of the picture, but often the color serves primarily to make these seem more eye catching, energetic and interesting. All told, this is a safe and functional design choice, practical with just a touch of original style. These pictograms should succeed at helping people navigate the Olympic village but their aesthetic is far from spectacular.

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