PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Poster
A graphic design and artist statement for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Poster Open Call.
Wonder at the Snowfall Over PyeongChang
DESIGN / GRAPHICS / SOCIAL GOOD
A graphic design for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Poster Open Call inspired by Photography
About the Open Call
Posters created for the Olympic Games form an important element of their visual identity. They lend a special aesthetic touch to the Games and constitute their visual theme. Drawing on every imaginable style and technique, they never cease to amaze.
Our vision for PyeongChang 2018 is to open up a new horizon by uniting the hard work and passion of all the people who participate in the Games, which will become the catalyst for the new growth and new potential of the next generation.
The Olympic posters visually trace the history and identity of each edition of the Olympic Games. They bear witness to the styles and values of the moment, and to the artistic, social and political context of their age. They are also an invitation to explore the history of the Games. Today, they convey the Olympic values and ideals, and maintain a dialogue with the international artistic community and the creative talent of the host country.
For artists, creating an Olympic poster provides the chance to make their work known to the world. They are free to choose their subject and style. However, each poster must convey a personal interpretation of the “Olympic moment”. This original artwork is a reflection of the philosophy and values of Olympism (excellence, respect and friendship), and is not limited to a simple representation of sport, the Olympic Symbol or the emblem. Rather it reflects the universality of the Games.
Learn more about the Creative Brief here.
My Poster Submission
A Message from the Artist
The original poster has dimensions 30" x 40" and is intended to be hung on a wall. For my design, I am striving for viewers to notice the following:
Realizing How the Snowflake is Read
As you are reading the snowflake, pay attention to the upward motion of your head as you are reading the meaning of the trigrams and taeguk on the right-side of the snowflake going up. As your eyes reach the top of the snowflake, they will switch over to the left-side of the snowflake. Now, pay attention to your head's downward motion as you read the trigram meanings on the left-side of the snowflake coming down.
The reason for the two motions is so all five trigram meanings can only be deciphered by reading both sides. However, most importantly, the upward motion encourages you to look up to something greater than yourself, and the downward motion causes you to bring that new understanding (of the taeguk and trigram meanings) down into our world to share it with those around you. The upward and downward motion is also synonymous with noticing snowfall.
Identifying each Country's Flag
Since there are small sections of each flag surrounding the rings, finding your country's flag will not be easy. Meaning, you will probably be searching for quite some time. My intention is to have people converse and get to know those around them.
Recognizing the Significance of the Trigrams
Right in front of you are elements of South Korea's national flag. Since the taeguk and trigram meanings are written on the snowflake, you will quickly realize that they relate to the taeguk and five trigram symbols. By highlighting the elements, I hope to encourage others to wonder how South Korea, your country, and others have also influenced our world.
Wonder at the Peaceful Snowfall Over PyeongChang is a graphic design by Ismael Barry that positions The Republic of Korea at the center of our world and the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018. The design confronts the viewer with strong symbolism inspired by the Taeguk and four trigrams of the Korean flag. Furthermore, it prompts viewers to reflect on the historical significance of Korea and how the meaning of each trigram serve as fundamental principles for the future of all nations, the spirit of the games, and each citizen of humanity.
We are currently living in the most prosperous and secure moment in human history where each individual is connected in a way we have never been before. Although our increasingly connected and globalized world provides us exposure and understanding to a multitude of cultures and ways of thinking, we still face pressing social challenges.For example, racism, prejudice, discrimination, inequality against people with disabilities, and the equalized acceptance of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals in society. It becomes easy to be rigid and sensitive regarding our views. Instead of opening up dialogue, we harden the lines and divisions between each other—most often in the digital space, which influences our behavior in the physical space.
As citizens of humanity, it is our social responsibility to orient ourselves towards a holistic view of perspectives and diversity that inspires and encourages openness, love, and acceptance. By studying the Korean flag, we derive the meaning of the taeguk and four trigrams (justice, fruition, wisdom, and vitality) as foundational values for increasing cultural and social convergence for future generations of our world. With the challenge of creating ongoing inclusion for both our world and the games, it is crucial to represent and include each individual from each of the five continents. To remind them about the values we all should continue to strive for, but can only do it together as one.
With Wonder at the Peaceful Snowfall Over PyeongChang, Ismael's design remains true to the simplicity of Piere de Coubertin's original Olympic design from 1912 by using the Olympic rings to represent the colors of each participating country's flag. What's more, lsmael’s overlapping of the rings implies the original interlocking design. Surrounding each of the five rings are thin vertical sections of flags from the participating countries that tend to have blue, yellow, green and red, respectively. Also, the LGBT pride flag appears around each ring; therefore, recognizing individuals from each continent that identifies with the movement. The sections are positioned side-by-side, and all have the same length and height dimensions—to represent equality and inclusion.
The taeguk and four trigrams from the Korean flag—in the orientations in which they appear on the flag—represent the fundamental principles that flow through each nation. The interlocking rings not only represent connectedness, but it also helps extend the meaning of how the values from the taeguk and trigrams flow within each country. Moreover, the circular nature of the rings implies the infinite circular movement of all trigrams—by all nations—in their pursuit of perfection. Finally, the Taeguk serves a dual purpose in the design. Foremost, it signifies balance in our universe, and second, it represents equality among all nations.
Upon examining the design, the viewer first recognizes the Olympic rings and their colors, second the elements from the flag of Korea, and third, the flags from each participating nation surrounding the rings. Finding your country’s flag requires closer examination and often it may be confused with another country’s flag. This design decision was made intentionally as the design causes the viewer to familiarize themselves with other nations. As groups of individuals from all nations populate around the poster to identify their flag, the design inspires conversation with those around us and encourages us to learn about each other’s culture. Furthermore, it causes us to wonder at Korea's significance at how they are uniting the world, but most importantly, it inspires us to wonder how every other country can also bring us together.
Finally, the background of the design is a snowflake that sets the theme for the Games. The two-toned snowflake is created using a technique in graphic design called shading. Running along both halves of the snowflake are the English and Korean words for the tageuk and trigram meanings. The purpose of the shading is to add dimension, perspective, and depth to the snowflake. Also, to take the snowflake out of a two-dimensional understanding and into a three-dimensional understanding. Thus elevating the thought and feeling of the overall design.
This February of 2018, individuals representing countries from five continents will gather and be touched by the peaceful snowfall in PyeongChang. Wonder at the Peaceful Snowfall Over PyeongChang inspires all individuals either participating in the games or viewing the games to wonder at the significance of Korea’s identity in our world and how we can find similar but unique meaning in ourselves, others, and the countries that make up our world. It reminds us of our social responsibility of continuing to build an inclusive future together while we continue to uphold Korea's principles. Wonder at the Peaceful Snowfall Over PyeongChang combines traditional and historical context into a modern and innovative design.