The logo for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games has been revealed. According to the Olympic website, it brings together “three iconic symbols connected to sport, the Games and France”.
The gold colour recalls the ceremony’s first-prize medals, while the flame-like shapes either side reflects the Olympic flame as well as “the unique energy of the Games, which bring people together and drive solutions forward”.
Together, these design details resemble a woman’s face — Marianne, a national symbol for the country. A “revolutionary spirit”, Marianne “encapsulates the desire to bring the competitions out of the stadium and into the heart of the city”, says the organisation.
It also marks the first time that the Olympics and Paralympics — which take place the following week — share a logo. The only difference is that the former will have the Olympic rings underneath while the latter will feature the Paralympic agitos icons.
“A homage to female athletes and a nod to history”
Choosing a well-known figure from the country’s history was an attempt to be as inclusive as possible. “She is a reminder that these Games will be Games for everyone, Games that will belong to the people,” according to the organisation.
The chair of the International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission, Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, says: “The combination of the gold medal, the Olympic flame and Marianne brings together the values, history and French touch that will make these Olympic Games truly special.”
Incorporating a woman into the logo is also a reminder of the Olympic Games in Paris, held over a century ago, in 1900. This was the first ceremony where women were allowed to compete.
The organisation adds: “Her face is a homage to female athletes and a nod to history.”
The Paris 2024 committee says that the logo — and its accompanying typeface — were inspired by the Art Deco movement, the artistic movement which was in vogue a century ago, at the same time as the last Paris Games in 1924.
That movement, which influenced architecture, furniture design, fashion and everyday items, originated in France and is bound up in the city’s visual history.
In this way, the city’s design infrastructure has been incorporated into the emblem, as Art Deco details can be spotted around Paris, from shop fronts to Metro signs.
Font and dark mode
A font — Paris2024 — has also been unveiled. Available in seven degrees of thickness from hairline to extra-bold, it has been “specially designed to adapt subtly to all digital text”. With its curved lines and pared-back style, the typeface fits with an updated Art Deco style.
As well as a widely-applicable font, there is further focus on digital aspects in the Paris identity. One feature is an energy-saving “dark mode”, reminiscent of Apple’s Dark Mode, an iPhone display setting for low-light environments which some claim saves battery life.
When this digital mode is switched on, the background colour switches to black, highlighting the logo’s gold tones.
Designers react to the new Olympic logo
“Is it a girl? Is it a flame? It feels like every new rebrand ‘looks like something else’ and in my opinion it’s becoming a tiring commentary. With a logo alone, it’s tricky not to step on some territory that comes before it. Then when something does come out that doesn’t resemble anything (even the thing you’re supposed to read from it: looking at you 2012 Olympics logo) we’re up in arms at that too.
It’s certainly not perfect — she’s a little twee, it looks a little ‘Tinder’, and the medal is the thing you read last unfortunately — but to me it is French. Whether it’s modern France is another question — you’d have to ask someone who lives there. Whether it represents modern women in sport is an even more important question, and definitely something the women who are due to compete should comment on.”
Katie Cadwell, senior designer at Supple Studio
“I think it’s an effective piece of ‘double-take’ graphic design. But pretending it’s Marianne seems pretty unlikely, unless Marianne got updated to an Art Deco flapper girl and no-one told me. So we’re left with Paris = Women + Lipstick. Mmmmm.”
Michael Johnson, founder and creative director at Johnson Banks
“The Paris 2024 logo is apparently inspired by Marianne, the symbol of the post-revolution French Republic. But reducing this iconic figure to an oddly sexist representation of France undermines the meaning of the symbol and is jarring in this ‘post-truth’ era. It poses the questions: why did such an iconic figure of the revolution need a make over? Is this how we’re representing the best of athletics today? And does this best represent the host nation?
The Olympic Committee explained the face as ‘a homage to female athletes and a nod to history.’ I strongly challenge that this logo encapsulates the achievements and history of female athletes. To me it says, ‘Come to Paris, we’ve got sexy women and by the way the Olympics is on.’ The logo is nothing more than a sexist simplification of an iconic symbol and fails to encapsulate the spirit of the games.”
Pali Palavathanan, co-founder and creative director at Templo
“I feel like we see a lot of these logos trying to say too much, too literally. While trying to cram various meanings into the form, we are instead left with an icon that feels more suited to a beauty salon logo at first glance. I understand the strength of the concept behind it, but unfortunately the outcome reduces Marianne to a pair of lips with a flapper hair cut. And I’m in a bit of disbelief that a pair of shapely lips is a ‘nod to female athletes’.
Ultimately, this is claiming to represent various different aspects, but in reality we have something that maybe feels a bit Art Deco French (or maybe even Japanese kewpie doll?) but misses the mark for revolutionary, athletes or female sporting achievement.”
Tessa Simpson, designer at O Street
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