The System of Symbols for Various Sports
There were only four different traffic signs
in 1922. Today there are more than 150. The continually closer interrelation
among traffic, information, the economy or tourism demands new methods
of communication. Often the very simplest verbal communication is frustrated
because of a lack of the knowledge required for a language or alphabet.
This is especially obvious at large international events at which visitors
from every continent participate.
It was also a major task for the Munich organizers
to design a system of visual symbols of universal intelligibility which
would aid visitors in regard to information and communications. Thus there
are two systems; one being the sports symbols and the other being the pictograms
for information regarding services and traffic which have been described
already. The sports symbols do not have the function merely to symbolize
the individual athletic disciplines in the press, on television or medals
and souvenirs, but they are simultaneously means of information regarding
the sports sites and training areas of a specific sport. With the aid of
arrows the symbols pointed the way and designated those coaches and helpers
responsible for a certain sport as well as the admission tickets, schedules,
rules and regulations listings, etc.
After the first attempts at the 1956 Olympic
Games in Melbourne, a closed system of symbols was conceived for the first
time under the direction of Masaru Katsumi in 1964 for the Olympic Games
in Tokyo. The value of the system as a universally intelligible means of
information instead of multilingual verbal messages was so effective that
all succeeding Games would not be possible without such a system. At the
1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, the Mexican OC developed a system of
symbols, which nevertheless had a more illustrative character and was based
on sports equipment.
Source document: Official
Report 1972, Vol. 1, page 271)
© 1972 Copyright by Munich Organizing Committee