Co.Design

Pictograms For The Olympic Feats Of Everyday Life

We’re all used to seeing the pictograms depicting the various Olympic sports. What if those symbols were redrawn for everyday events?

Over the last week, we’ve been agog at the seeming Herculean feats of the Olympic athletes competing in the London summer games. Now it’s time to celebrate our own pedestrian achievements--the everyday trials we overcome as we partake in that sport called life.

What am I referring to? Those unrecognized daily exercises for which we all deserve medals, as we wrestle with our consciences, swim against the tide, and run on empty. Hat-Trick, the London-based design firm, has rendered them all (and many more) based on Otl Aicher’s 1972 system of Olympic icons.

The notion of Olympic Non-Events was hatched over a lunch 20 years ago, when Hat-trick founders Gareth Howat and Jim Sutherland were junior designers at another studio called the Partners. “We have been talking about doing a project based on it for ages,” Howat tells Co.Design. “So this year being the home Olympics, we finally got around to doing it. There has been so much build up to the games, we used it as a bit of light relief as a counter to the very serious business of the games themselves.” That serious business involved designing the official Olympic stamps for Royal Mail.

Click to enlarge.

Hat-Trick churned out a pamphlet with a few of their witticisms, which proved so popular that they reprinted the booklet, set up a Tumblr page, and printed a poster (for sale here)--filled with all the things leading up to the final event in the all-arounds, kicking the bucket.

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