• Transform magazine
  • June 18, 2018

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Ice, snow and celebration at Beijing 2022 emblem unveiling

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Olympic branding is often reliant on language and typeface design to convey a message. The upcoming Winter Games in PyeongChang reflect this as the city’s Olympic logo is a stylised rendering of two Korean characters. With the competition in South Korea set to kick off in 48 days, the successive host city – Beijing – has released its 2022 branding this week.

The logo takes a note from the PyeongChang approach, and the Beijing Summer Olympics branding in 2008, by using a stylised Chinese character to represent the Games. The ribbon-like design is a rendition of the Chinese character for ‘winter’ while simultaneously representing skaters and skiers through its fluid, colour-changing lines. The logo also evokes the various venues that host winter sports from mountains to skating rinks to sliding tracks. The Paralympic logo is in a similar style and makes use of the Chinese symbol for ‘fly.’

Thomas Bach, the IOC’s president, says, “The emblem is a symbol of ambitions and dreams. It will build excitement and anticipation in China and around the whole world for our shared goal of an outstanding Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.”

The emblems were crafted by Beijing designer Lin Cunzhen, who also worked on the brand standardisation and guidelines for the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Beijing Olympic Games Organising Committee (BOCOG) received over 4,500 design submissions from around the world before selecting Cunzhen’s. In the original brief, BOCOG asked for an identity that was “green, open, shared”  and reflected China's population, reflecting “millions of people participating in winter sports.”

At the unveiling, BOCOG president Cai Qi said, "The two Beijing 2022 emblems vividly illustrate the vitality and passion of winter sports, the resilience of the participating athletes and the spirit and beauty of contemporary China. They also express the wishes and hopes of 1.3bn Chinese people that Beijing 2022 is a success."

The logo will be expanded into a full brand system in due course, but the fluid, graceful and distinctive lines of the two emblems should allow for consistency throughout the implementation. The logos may be first introduced to the world at large at the PyeongChang closing ceremony in which the next host city, in this case Beijing, typically makes a cultural and artistic presentation.