If you're not a fan of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games' minimalist logo, hey, it could have been worse. Much worse.

For proof, consider this slide show of all of the Olympic Games logos between 1924 and 2020.

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

100 Years Of Olympic Logos: A Depressing History Of Design Crimes

There's some beautiful graphic design on exhibit in these 45 Olympic Games logos, but most of them make you go WTF.

If you're not a fan of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games' minimalist logo, hey, it could have been worse. Much worse.

For proof, consider this slide show of all of the Olympic Games logos between 1924 and 2020. There have been some beautifully designed logos throughout the Olympic Games' rich history, but sadly, that seems to be very much the exception, not the rule. Traveling back in time on this Olympic carousel, it's interesting to spot design trends, and even more interesting to spot the design crimes.

Starting in the summer of 1984, for example, a typographical mad man appears to have seized control of the International Olympics Committee, and in his subsequent 14-year reign of terror, lop the heads off any designer who suggested a typeface that did not come pre-installed with Microsoft Word. Okay, I kid, but bookmarked between what appears to be Sarajevo '84s tasteful Paralucent and Nagano '98s Amira font, the typefaces of this era are dreadful. Like, seriously, what is this, Barcelona?

Revisiting almost a century of Olympic logos, what stands out is how muddled, confused, and almost simperingly non-threatening the last 30 years of Olympic design has actually been. In the '60s and '70s, Olympic logo design was actually good. Consider the 1960 Winter Olympics in California's beautiful, tri-colored emblem, the gorgeous typography of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico logo, or even the austere, almost Gropian spiral of Munich's 1972 Summer Olympics logo. It's enough to make you weep over what has been lost.

I'm personally of the opinion that the 2014 Sochi logo is one of the best Olympics logos in a while, but as we've written about before, there's no denying that the modern political reality of the Olympics means design by committee, and nowhere is that more evident than in the Games' official logos.

Let's just hope over the next century's worth of sportsmanship, that committee's taste gets a tad more sophisticated, and fast. I'm not sure the 2018 Winter Olympics can survive its own logo, are you?

(All logos were originally collated by Colorlib.com and are reprinted here by permission.)

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47 Comments

  • How can you not love Mockba 1980, that logo is a classic. Beijing is also a good logo with personality and great visual recognition. Oh London what a mistake that was, so missing the point that the name of the City of London should stand out more than the 2012 year date.

    Many of these logos look dated as they are, design has moved on so much in a century.

  • Like most people here I confer that the article is simply misplaced and incorrect. While I do think that some (a small amount) are poor you simply must take into account the culture of the time that each logo was produced.

    Whilst I still dislike the UK 2012 logo you cannot knock the uniqueness of its concept.

    My personal favourite is Brazil's Rio which in my mind is a wonderful piece of design.

    Next time perhaps do your research before making accusations.

  • This is a worthless article. Why? Because you can't point your finger at 1920 fashion and say it looks ridiculous. These designs was specific to their time, the cities and culture they represented.

  • i find this article offensive. it's like you marked every other logo as bad? Beijing 2008 is in this bunch and i'm sorry as far as olympic logos go its probably one of the best... it flawlessly marries country, tradition and pride into the games.

  • Mike Elliott

    What is so bad about these old logos? In their own right I think they are all very unique in design for their time. We could easily question your work in the future too. You are picking on the past while to some the logos of today may look just as ridiculous in the future. The only question is.. will the future pass the same judgement as you?

  • Not Microsoft Word in 1984. That would have been Microsoft Word 1.0 for DOS, which knew only how to choose from among the fonts pre-loaded into the printer (and most printers in the field had two or three fonts at most; many had only one).

  • i like the 1980 olympics logo, not sure which place it is. It has that class and timelessness in it. Among the more recent ones, Rio 2016 is simply superb. The color, typeface and logo symbol is inter related in a beautiful way. When u look at it, u know it's Brasil that we're talking about. Not sure how many other logos has given such an identity which can be universally understood.

  • Torbjørn Aksdal

    Is this remakes of olympic logos? Both the Berlin logo and the Oslo logo has spelling errors in them.. vinterleker, not vintr*