A flower, with each petal representing an athlete practising a winter sport, and which can also be seen as a snowflake symbolising the Olympic Winter Games. The emblem is also evocative of a mountain flower, emphasising Nagano's commitment to the environment, and was thus named Snowflower. The dynamic nature of this vivid and colourful picture foreshadowed the enthusiastic atmosphere in which the Games took place, and symbolised their brilliance throughout the world.
Five kinds of official posters and seven sport-specific posters were printed for these Games. In addition, for the first time at the Olympic Winter Games, a special poster was created for the Opening Ceremony. The first poster created was designated as the official poster for the XVIII Olympic Winter Games to be preserved for posterity. It shows a thrush perched on a ski pole with mountains in the light of dawn, evoking the concept of harmony with nature. It was designed by Masuteru Aoba.