City On The 2006 Winter Olympics Emblem

The Winter Olympics sometimes get pushed to the side in favour of the more popular Summer Olympics. At the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, 91 different teams will compete (which begins today). Roughly 204 different countries, territories, and other entities sent athletes to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Budgets and audience sizes are both decreasing. However, this has provided the Winter Olympics with an opportunity to create a design story that is separate from the summer’s big events. In 1924, Chamonix, France, hosted the first Winter Olympics. The branding for the first-ever games was straightforward, making use of familiar symbols.

City On The 2006 Winter Olympics Emblem

Poster depicting an eagle flying over a bobsleigh course; designed by Auguste Matisse (no connection to Henri). At the end of that year, Paris hosted the Summer Olympics. It wasn’t until the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to hold the summer and winter games on opposite sides of the calendar. Games have been held at regular intervals (every two years) since then.

City On The 2006 Winter Olympics Emblem

For the 1936 Winter Olympics, held in Germany and launched by Chancellor Adolf Hitler, the first official Olympic logo was created. After a 12-year hiatus and the end of World War I, the games returned in St. Moritz with an emblem featuring a human-faced sun that recalled the grandiose designs of the original Olympic games.

The Second Half of The Century Saw More Innovative Styles Emerge.

For example, the snowflake pattern was first used in an Olympic emblem in Franco Rondinelli’s design for the 1956 Winter Games in Cortina D’Ampezzo. The host city’s snowy mountains were depicted in the symbol, with the Olympic rings framed within a snowflake motif; a bronze-brown colour scheme unites the mountains and the bordering element.

This design element quickly gained popularity, appearing on emblems for the years 1984 in Sarajevo, 2002 in Salt Lake City, and 2006 in Turin. The logo of Grenoble, which dates back to 1968, is a snowflake superimposed on a bouquet of red roses, and is perhaps the most nuanced representation of this idea (a traditional sign for the French city).

Designed by Roger Excoffon, a French fashion designer, it features the national colours of France—red, white, and blue. Some of these winter designs have a visual ancestry with the Summer Olympics’ most popular ones, such Lance Wyman’s radial graphic for Mexico 1968.

The Sapporo 1972 Winter Olympics emblem designed by Kazumasa Nagai may not be as well-known as Kamekura Yusaku’s Tokyo 1964 design, but it shares visual elements with that more famous logo. The modular insignia features a snowflake drawn in a concentric circle around the hinomaru symbol.