Paris 2024 is “reinventing the pictogram” for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The 62 icons of the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines have been designed in a coat of arms style, evolving from a simple depiction into a more emotive symbol.
- Liz Gorny
- 8 February 2023
Paris 2024 has revealed the look of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics and a new set of 62 pictograms. Following the first-ever animated pictograms for Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024 aims to place its own unique stamp on the design tradition by departing from pure depictions of each sport. Instead, the pictograms are designed to function as badges of honour, revealing the wearer’s “chosen sporting family”, a release states. Paris 2024 design teams led the creative work in collaboration with agency W.
The International Olympic Committee explains that 23 Paralympic disciplines are represented by 15 Paralympic-only pictograms, while eight pictograms will be shared between both the Olympics and Paralympics. Universality and community are the guiding principles behind this year’s icons.
“During the Games, pictograms allow people from more than 200 nationalities to find their way into the heart of a country whose language or codes are usually unknown for them,” Tony Estanguet Paris 2024 President states. “At Paris 2024, the 62 pictograms of the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines will no longer be pictograms, but real badges of honour. With these badges of honour, we will celebrate the very special bonds that unite enthusiasts and sports’ community members. They will embody the act of belonging to a sport, to values, to a community, to a family.”
The designs are colourful; each icon is composed of three main graphical elements, including an axis of symmetry, a depiction of the ground and representation of a sport. The International Olympic Committee worked closely with International Federations to ensure accurate depictions of smaller details, down to the different types of blades including in the fencing icon.
Pictograms often present an important opportunity for each host country to express their unique vision for the event. The icons have been part of the Olympic Games since 1964, introduced in Kamekura Yusaku’s highly influential Tokyo identity. The first Paralympic Games pictograms were introduced at Barcelona 1992.
“A pictogram is also a symbol that is collectable,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said at an event to mark the launch of the look and pictograms. "When you’re an athlete, you’re proud about showing off the pictogram of your sport – pins, t-shirts… I remember collecting those things.” The Paris 2024 pictograms will roll out in mid-February on the Olympic Games ticketing website with the sale of the ‘Make Your Games’ packs.
A new look has also been established for Paris 2024, highlighting “elegance, creativity and the ‘French Art de Vivre’, and conveys the innovative and bold ambition of Paris 2024”, a release explains. Last year, the logo for the Games was unveiled, unifying the gold medal, the flame and the face of Marianne – a symbol of the revolution in France. The International Olympic Committee says the streets of Paris will become the centrepiece of the new look, with paving stones taking particular prominence as “a feature of French urban life since the days of antiquity”.
GalleryParis 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Pictograms (Copyright © International Olympic Committee, 2023)
Paris 2024 Paralympic Pictograms (Copyright © International Olympic Committee, 2023)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.