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Infographics: Using The Olympic Rings To Show Vast Inequalities

Gustavo Sousa uses the “beautiful and elegant” logo to show discrepancies between participating countries.

The Olympics promise many things–triumph of the human spirit, amazing athletic prowess, upsets and underdogs–but the most modern games are ultimately nothing if not a massive, global spectacle. Gustavo Sousa, a painter and creative director at Mother’s London office, was interested in exploring behind the pomp and circumstance. “Events like these can be a good time for reflection,” Sousa tells Co.Design. Oceaniaeuropeamericaasiaafrica illustrates stripped-down statistics from each region through simple scale shifts of the tournament’s iconic quintet of overlapping loops.“The rings represent healthy competition and union, but we know the world isn’t perfect. Maybe understanding the differences is the first step to try to make things more equal.”

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Oceania: blue. Europe: black. Americas: red. Africa: yellow. Asia: green.

“I was reading about the logo one day and realized the colors represented the five continents,” he says. “It’s beautiful and elegant, and I thought I could make something out of that.” Everything from percentage of millionaires to McDonald’s outlets gets a graph; all-in-all, there’s 16 prints–one for each day of the games–and a live projection, which will be exhibited in East London during the festivities. And if you find yourself searching for a key while scrolling through his site, you’re out of luck; its omission was intentional. “The reason I didn’t reveal which is which because you can almost figure that out as you read through; I thought that process of discovery was interesting.”

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