The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

2008 Olympics
2008 Olympics
UPDATED: June 4, 2007 NO.23 JUN.7, 2007
Paralympic Pictograms
Designers hope Olympic symbols will cross the language barrier

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) unveiled pictograms for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Media Center on May 23, as part of a month of publicity for the 17th National Help-the-Disabled Day.

Before every modern Olympics and Paralympics, the host city develops concise Olympic symbols to guide and inform participants and the general public so as to minimize miscommunication caused by language problems during the event. The pictograms will be widely used on Beijing's roads, around Olympic venues, and in guides both for athletes and spectators. They will also be used in television broadcasts and in advertising and marketing material for the Games, in order to enrich the public experience.

BOCOG released the pictograms of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games last August, on the occasion of the two-year countdown to the opening of the event. To maintain a coherent style they borrowed creative concepts and design styles, using the structure of the Chinese seal script as their basic form while incorporating the pictographic charm of the ancient Chinese oracle bone inscription Jiaguwen and the bronze-ware script Jinwen. Jiaguwen, the earliest form of Chinese writing, found etched onto turtle shells and animal bones, was first used in the Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 B.C.).

Hang Hai, Associate Professor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Chief Designer of the Beijing 2008 Paralympics Games pictograms, said he was inspired by physically challenged athletes.

"Before, I didn't know anything about the Paralympics, but as I got to know some physically challenged athletes and their stories, I was moved many times. So I just tried to convey the dynamics of their body movements through the pictograms," Hang said.

Although the two sets of icons for the 2008 Olympics and 2008 Paralympics are quite similar, designers said that mild differences are essential to capture the characteristics of Paralympic sports. Hang compared the soccer symbols in two groups. He said almost nobody could tell the difference between the two without close observation, but the design team had softened competitive intensity in the image for the Paralympics by lowering the foot scoring a goal. Hang said the same principle had been applied to the design of other Paralympic pictograms.

According to the official website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the designs not only feature the particular movement and dynamism of each sport, but also are easy to recognize, remember and use, through skillful application and their striking contrast between white and black. What is more, the pictograms demonstrate movement, graceful charm and rich cultural connotations, and arrive at a harmony and unity of "form" and "content."

The pictograms of the Beijing Paralympic Games cover all 20 individual sports, namely archery, athletics, boccia, cycling, equestrian, five-a-side football, seven-a-side football, goal-ball, judo, power-lifting, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, volleyball (sitting), wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.

BOCOG began to research, create and appraise pictograms for the Beijing Paralympic Games in May 2006. The Central Academy of Fine Arts was responsible for their design, creation and testing. Numerous design experts, Paralympics specialists and representatives of disabled athletes offered their suggestions during the process. In December 2006, the BOCOG Executive Board officially approved the design scheme of the pictograms and submitted them to the International Sports Federations. The International Paralympic Committee officially approved them in April 2007.

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved