Exploring Olympic Language in Tokyo

20 May 2021
Culture and heritage

A special travelling exhibition that explores the Look of the Games will open at Tokyo’s Ginza Graphic Gallery during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

The Olympic Museum

An exhibition from The Olympic Museum entitled “Olympic Language: Exploring the Look of the Games” will make its international debut at the Ginza Graphic Gallery in Tokyo’s Ginza district, from 20 July to 28 August 2021.

The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH), in cooperation with the DNP (Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.) Foundation for Cultural Promotion, will stage this special exhibition that showcases Olympic emblems, pictograms, torches and medals – everything that is part of a visual identity or “Look of the Games” developed for each edition of the Olympic Games.

“The Look of the Games is often inspired by the culture, heritage and history of the city and country concerned,” said Anne Chevalley, Chief Curator of The Olympic Museum. “This exhibition focuses on five editions of the Games that are noteworthy for their design: Tokyo 1964, Mexico City 1968, Munich 1972, Lillehammer 1994 and Athens 2004.”

The Olympic Museum IOC

The overall visual identity of an edition of the Games provides a sense of coherence, presenting the audience with one common language through official Olympic properties such as the emblems, posters, pictograms, mascots and much more. This exhibition shines a spotlight on some particularly interesting Looks of the Games, as well as the secrets behind designing a successful visual identity.

The exhibition traces the timeline from when there was little interest in establishing a visual language at the early editions, to Mexico City 1968 and Munich 1972, which managed to create an all-embracing design. The story behind the creation of some of the most iconic emblems, such as the Tokyo 1964 pictograms, will also be revealed.

Originally staged at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2018-2019, this exhibition is part of the Tokyo 2020 Participation Programme operated by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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