The Olympic Games started using pictograms to represent sporting events as early as 1912. However, it is Otto Aicher’s work for the 1972 Munich Games that has had a lasting effect because his original pictograms still form a vital part of how the Olympic Games communicate today. In 1964, the Olympic Games decided to use a more comprehensive system of pictograms to create a visual language for participants. The project facilitated communication and mitigated language barriers between participants. However, the committee decided it wanted a new set, and it contacted Aicher in 1966 to start work on what would eventually form the foundation of modern pictographic language and the DOT system developed by the American government. Aicher developed more than seven hundred pictograms over the course of his career, many of them still in use today, and many have developed into icons of modern culture.
Pictograms are subject to copyright. The pictograms by Otl Aicher shown in this piece of work may not be reproduced, modified or redesigned. They may only be used with the consent of attoma Berlin GmbH, Helmholtzstr. 2-9, 10587 Berlin, Germany. Holder of the copyright title is ERCO GmbH, Brockhauser Weg 80-82, 58507 Lüdenscheid, Germany.