In collaboration with Sam Giesbrecht
Research & Branding
This is a branding project of designing the Paris Olympics logo for the Summer Olympics 2024. Olympic identity is a unique opportunity to portray Paris the way Parisians feel about it. So we took this rare chance to reposition Paris in front of the whole world. The project involved a ton of Primary research as the logo was going to speak for the whole nation and it was important to catch the right voice.
Global survey: What in your opinion represents Paris?
We interviewed 42 people from 29 countries what in their opinion represented Paris. As you can see the most popular answer was the Eiffel Tower. It’s notable, that most of the other answers were also some kind of architectural structure. For the longest time the world has perceived Paris as this conventional and traditional place famous for its architecture.
Paris Survey: What does Paris mean to you?
We wanted to hear the other side as well, so we went ahead and asked Parisians ”What does Paris mean to you?” The answers were rather different. People who have spent most of their lives living there, passionately described their city as a fast-pace, everchanging and diverse place. Along with that, many people also mentioned architecture and history as something that makes them proud to live in their city.
It was clear that architecture was the common ground for both groups’ opinions. Next question was how to translate the concept of energetic, dynamic and diverse through architecture? This is where we turned to the rich French history. Fleur-de-lis was officially adopted by Clovis I and made a symbol of France in XII century. It currently appears on the Flag of Paris and is a very important element of the French culture.
Gothic is an Architectural Style that actually originated in France. Its vertical silhouette and invention of the “arch” made Notre-Dame de Paris a symbol of French Gothic.
Rococo style gained a huge popularity in France for its curves and natural patterns. The most recognizable symbol of the style is the Palace of Versailles.
Neoclassicism is characterized by flatter shapes and bas-reliefs inseparable from curvy arches as you can notice on the Arc de Triomphe.
Modernism—the most contemporary style—is known for simple geometric shapes that reflect in the Louvre pyramid—one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.
On the left we got five architectural shapes that each represent an important part of French history. On the right we have the energetic and everchanging personality of Paris represented by the Olympic fire. All we had to do now is just to combine them!
The mark works in four different ways rather than three. To show the energetic and contemporary feel of Paris, it is recommended to show the nightlife pictures of the city. For such instances the “dark background” version was created to keep up the energy levels. If the contrast is low, the knock-out version would always be there to save the day.
The colours were chosen to represent the energy levels. As we go forward in history the excitement and vibrancy of the colours go up aligning with the concept and hinting at the Olympic flame.
We chose Avant Garde as the typeface for its letterforms that mirror and complement the shapes of the logo. If you compare the shapes with letters, you can find a lot of similarities that make it look cohesive. Another advantage of this typeface is the technical fit. The wide structure and geometric nature make it legible and easy to reproduce on various surfaces.