Olympic Games 1992 Barcelona

25th Olympiad


Sports: 29

Events: 257

National Teams: 169

Participants: 9,380


  The pictograms 1992

Pictograms had been widely used since Munich in 1972. The person in overall charge of the visual style of those Games was the great designer Otl Aicher, under whose direction a series of sports and services pictograms were created from a basic geometric formula. They became so widespread as to be practically universal. At the Montreal Games they were used without any changes, in Los Angeles and Seoul only slight modifications were introduced. In Barcelona, though the Munich shapes were still used as a starting point, the break in style was more audacious, as the geometric formula was abandoned in favour of the characteristic line of the emblem created by Josep. M. Trias and its representational simplification of the human body in three parts (head, arms and legs) was also adopted.

olympic games pictograms barcelona


In the sports pictograms, the fundamental reference point is the human body in the postures which are most characteristic of the practice of each sport. The competition ground, however, also appears when necessary for the sign to be understood, as in the case of swimming, water polo and the nautical sports, in which the water line appears in various guises. In the other sports, the human body is combined with the characteristic equipment of each one (net, racket, foil, ball, rifle). There were thirty-two sports pictograms for Barcelona'92: one for each of the twenty-five official and the three demonstration sports, plus four for the modes (synchronized swimming, diving and water polo —differentiated in this way from swimming itself, the races, which were identified by the generic pictogram for swimming— and slalom canoeing, which had to be distinguished from the flat water variety).

Service pictograms 

The services pictograms were intended to guide the public in the surroundings and the interior of the Olympic units, whether competition venues, training facilities or service centres. In Barcelona eighty-two were specially designed in the same graphic style as the sports pictograms and five more were invented incorporating existing symbols for public services and transport.

(Source document:  Official Report 1992, Vol. III, page 326)
© 1992 COOB'92, S.A., Plaça de la Font Màgica, s/n, 08038 Barcelona

Other Olympic Official Pictograms: