2019 NO.27

The Olympics Are Coming to Tokyo


History of Sports Pictograms

As pictorial symbols used to convey information visually and in an easy-to-understand manner, pictograms spread across the world after the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964. Back then, fewer Japanese people and participants in the games understood English, so pictograms were created to represent the 20 Olympic sports at the time, as well as for various facilities at the Olympic venues and the Olympic Village. In fact, the restroom mark that was created as a pictogram for the 1964 games is now used all over the world. In preparation for Tokyo 2020 Games, sports pictograms that depict in a more refined manner athletes’ movements and the sports equipment were announced —33 sports and 50 designs for the Olympic Games, and 22 sports and 23 designs for the Paralympic Games. The pictograms created for the Tokyo 2020 Games not only adhere to the original objective of communicating information, but also are designed to depict athletes’ vibrant movement in the most attractive way. It should be fun to see how your favorite sports have been conveyed through pictograms.

©IOC ©Tokyo 2020