The five interlocked rings that make up the Olympic logo have connected nations around the world for the past century with their iconic and historical mark symbolizing the world’s most prestigious athletic competition.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the Olympic Rings logo is universally recognized and represents a powerful historical tradition of athletics. The Olympic Games spark national pride as citizens across the globe celebrate excellence.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, designed the Olympic Ring logo in 1914 for the 20th anniversary of the games. The five rings symbolize the unity of humankind, and every country participating in the games has at least one color from their flag colors represented in the rings.
“The Olympic logo is a representation of countries coming together and bringing their best athletes to represent their countries on an international level,” said Derly Pate, junior graphic design major.
On Friday, the world will gather around their television screens to watch the opening ceremony of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The 2014 Olympic Games marked the first time a web address was included in the event logo.
Michael Berger, director of design and photography for the College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design at California Baptist University, said he thought the inclusion of the web address in the logo was a bold move.
“The Internet address is historic,” Berger said. “It feels like more of a geographical statement than a web address, which I like. We will see it stick in subsequent games.”
The inclusion of this element in the event logo is reflective of the technological era of today’s society.
“The web address makes a statement,” said Katrina Samuelson, junior graphic design major. “Our society is concentrated so much on social media these days, so including a web address reflects international trends.”
Besides its historic web address, the Sochi Olympic logo contains other design elements that members of the design program at CBU said they are excited about.
“I like the spacing between the letters and the rings,” Samuelson said. “Overall, I love the layout of the logo, specifically how it is aligned to the right. It draws the attention to the Olympic mark, which is important.”
While Berger said he is unsure how the logo will travel across media and apparel, he is impressed by many of the design elements of the logo.
“I like the play on the ‘14’ over the letters mirroring each other,” Berger said. “The font feels international and modern.”
Unlike Berger and Samuelson, Pate said she did not like the Sochi 2014 Olympic logo.
“It is too simple,” she said. “I don’t see what the logo really represents. I don’t think the typeface really works with the logo, and for me, the web address feels out of place and confusing.”
Whether the Sochi logo is forgotten in a year or becomes one of the most recognized in Olympic history, it will be able to connect individuals around the world and symbolize an important time in the lives of many individuals worldwide.