You! Be Inspired! -The Evolution of Olympic Logos and Posters

by . August 3rd, 2012

The 2012 Summer Olympics just kicked off last July 27 in London marking a special event for each participating country to showcase their representatives’ athletic prowess among the different sports that are featured in this year’s programme. Although the event is filled with athletes performing high jumps, sprints, strokes and summersaults, there is possibly one simple symbol in the Olympics that is most well-known and most representative of the values that the organizers hold dear – the Olympic rings.

Originally designed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1912, the Olympic symbol is composed of five interlocking rings, coloured blue, yellow, red, green and black that represent the colors of all the national flags that participated in the Olympic games at that time. However, this symbolism has changed throughout the years. At present, the five rings now represent the five continents of the world that participate in the Olympic Games as viewed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Interestingly enough, the design elements used in the rings have also evolved through time as each host nation modifies the design to either incorporate a landmark or one of the country’s cultural heritage. Here is a list of Olympic Logos from 1924 to 2008 taken from the official site of the Olympic Movement.


From Left to Right: 1932 Los Angeles, 1936 Berlin, 1948 London, 1952 Helsinki, 1956 Melbourne, 1960 Rome


From Left to Rigth: 1964 Tokyo, 1968 Mexico, 1972 Munich, 1976 Montreal, 1980 Moscow, 1984 Los Angeles


From Left to Right: 1988 Seoul, 1996 Atlanta, 2008 Beijing, 1992 Barcelona, 2000 Sydney

Posters also play an important role in promoting the Olympic Games. Aside from providing the event with some sort of creative flair, posters can also show specific themes and ideas that the organizers wanted to stress. Here are a few examples of posters from past Olympic Games.


Designed by Jean Droit for the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris


Designed by Walter Herz for the 1948 Olympic Games in London


Designed by Yusaku Kamekura for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo


Designed by Ilmari Sysimetsa for the 1956 Olympic Games in Helsinki


Designed by Primo Angeli for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta


NOTE: Images on this page are not owned by YouTheDesigner and are used solely as design examples. Please click on the links to see their original sources.


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