The pictograms are always a core part of the look and feel of each edition of an Olympic Games, and also a vital international “shorthand” for Olympic fans around the world.
The design of the pictograms for PyeongChang is based on the Korean script or ‘Hangeul’, which was an alphabet developed in Korea in the 15th century and is still used today. As well as providing fans with an insight into Korean culture, the slanted and curved lines of the Hangeul characters have been used to create dynamic images that capture the movements of the athletes and seek to embody the Olympic spirit.
There are 24 pictograms in total, all of which are based on four consonants and three vowels from the Hangeul alphabet. While there are 15 disciplines that feature on the Olympic Winter Games programme, some sports have more than one pictogram. For example, Alpine skiing has two separate pictograms, one for the ‘technical’ events and one for the ‘speed’ events, while snowboard has no less than five different pictograms.
“The pictograms are an important element of the Olympic Games and there is always a level of excitement and anticipation around the design of these, just as we saw with the official mascots,” explained POCOG President Lee Hee-beom.
“I believe our design team has got the perfect balance with our designs to make them easily identifiable while also having a local connection and Korean feel as we have integrated our unique alphabet into the pictograms,” added Lee.