Snøhetta tells us how visual identity for 2022 Winter Olympic bid was made
The Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, named after the Norwegian mountain peaks, has designed a visual identity for Oslo's bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
As Henrik Haugana and Kim Andre Ottesen, Snøhetta’s graphic designers, explained, the development of the identity for the Oslo 2022 bid was divided into three stages: “First, we developed a simple, ‘logo-less’ identity that we used both in the application for a funding guarantee from the government, as well as when providing information about the ‘Games in the City’ concept to the public when it was put to vote during a local referendum in Oslo. In the second stage, the logo, typography and main identity were fully developed. The identity included art direction of aerial photography, as well as interior architectural elements and signage. The final component of the identity was the design of the Candidature Acceptance document and all accompanying elements necessary for the IOC submission on March 15, 2014. Visually, each of the three iterations of the identity reflect a point in the process leading up to the application to the IOC.”
Snøhetta has developed a workshop format for developing concepts in close collaboration with the client. “From this, we based the concept around the phrase 'Nordic Simplicity', and used this as a guideline for our research. We also collected and analyzed past Olympic identities, and as many applicant city identities as possible.”
They had two main directions for the logo, with numerous variations, which led us to ask the graphic designers how they came up with the final color and form selection for the logo: “At this stage, as an applicant city, we were not allowed to use the Olympic rings. The circular forms of the letter 'O' and the number '0', as well as the repetition of forms in the number '2' and the letter 'S', lend themselves to a graphic element constructed out of just a few geometrical shapes. Combined with colors inspired by the Olympic rings, the result forms the basis for the identity.”
Arterritory.com was also interested in finding out if there were any hidden references in the logo. The graphic design team working on the logo replied that Oslo is characterized by architecture and design from the twenties and thirties, and so they tried to embed this into the foundation of the identity. When asked how does the logo relate to the Nordic design tradition, Henrik Haugana and Kim Andre Ottesen gave the following answer: “The identity of Oslo 2022’s visual language honors the inherent simplicity and openness in Nordic culture. By balancing playful graphics and strict geometry, the identity represents both the celebration of the Games and the solid planning of the Norwegian bid.”