Snøhetta Created Oslo’s Visual Identity for Olympic Bid

Hosting the Olympics is definitely bragworthy. And creating the brand identity and logo for a host city is equally impressive. While I’m busy debating whether or not my friend could make it onto the curling team and discussing the visual identity for the most recent Olympics, many designers have been busy creating a city’s application to host the next Games. One city and firm presented a strong contender, at least for my attention, as it embraces “Nordiac simplicity”: The City of Oslo, Norway. The city commissioned the firm Snøhetta to create the brand design, landscape and architecture for their 2022 Olympic Applicant City bid.


Visual identity for Oslo's Olympic bid

Visual identity for Oslo’s Olympic bid


The process to apply has many steps, and for Oslo to be considered, they had to prove not only why their city should host the Olympics but that they could handle the large scope of this event. For the application, Snøhetta created a ‘logo-less’ identity, as the idea of applying to host the Olympic Games was put to a city vote.

Oslo-7 Oslo-8 Oslo-6

Next, the firm created the main identity along with the logo and typography, which also included aerial photography of the city, signage and other architectural work, which you can see in the printed materials. These images are certainly compelling.


Printed materials which use the aerial photography


Brand identity in a web environment

According to Snøhetta, the visual language they created “honors the inherent simplicity and openness in Nordic culture.” It uses “playful graphics and strict geometry” to capture the celebratory spirit of the Olympics Games and show the city’s vibe, too. Even the bold colors capture this feel. The firm explains the design further:

The circular forms of the letter O and the number 0, as well as the repetition of forms in the number 2 and 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. The circle becomes a very central part of Oslo 2022 bid’s visual identity and is very prominent in the new logo.


Proposed visual identity


Snøhetta also designed the Candidature Acceptance document and all accompanying elements for the IOC submission on March 15, 2014. Through examples of exhibition design, print brochures and digital design for the website,  Oslo presented their bid during the Sochi Olympic Games. The city that will have the honor of hosting the 2022 Olympics will be announced in July 2015.

How would you design your city’s visual identity for an Olympic Games bid?
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