Saturday, February 12, 2011

Judo Pictograms

I first saw a martial arts pictogram used at a dojo I trained in England. I instantly fell in love. It is simple, primitive art with clean lines - just like good judo. This week I decided to search out the judo pictographs, and much to my dismay they is no collection of them on any internet sites that I could find. So I clicked and pasted small images and tried to fix them on photoshop. There is likely some distortion on a few of them. This blog entry was quite a labor. Enjoy it Judoka!


— noun
another word for pictograph

1. a pictorial sign or symbol.
2. a record consisting of pictorial symbols, as a prehistoric cave drawing or a graph or chart with symbolic figures representing a certain number of people, cars, factories, etc.

So the Olympics has had a history of graphic design making primitive pictograms for many of the sports. I it used for a variety of functions, but basically it is a cool design that cuts through language barriers.

For the part the trend to make pictograms for the games started in the Tokyo games of 1964. Here we see a judoka standing proudly.

There was no Judo in the '68 Games.

The art genre has been heavily influenced by the designers of the 1972 Munich games. I like this one.

Russia 1980 - not my fav.

Seoul 1988

Barcelona 1992 - the worst one IMHO

Atlanta 1996 - Nice design, but getting too detailed for my liking.

Sydney 2000 - the lame boomerang style

Athens 2004 - I really like this one. Simple and elegant conjuring imagery of ancient pottery.

China 2008 - I like this one. It was designed to look like the stamp seal script.

London 2012 - It is an OK design, just not my style.

Rio 2016

Some pictograms from random sources

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My all time favorite is the China 2008 with the red border to make it look like a stamp.


  1. Cool post. I think my favorite of these is third up from the bottom - the small, red, angular taiotoshi

  2. i like the one above that one....

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