Glasgow 2014 pictograms

The pictograms for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 were unveiled last week by studio Tangent Graphic. Using the concentric rings of the 2014 logo, the symbols reference the “decisive moment” of each of the Games’ 17 sporting events

The pictograms for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 were unveiled last week by studio Tangent Graphic. Using the concentric rings of the 2014 logo, the symbols reference the “decisive moment” of each of the Games’ 17 sporting events…

The logo for Glasgow 2014 – the 20th Commonwealth Games – was launched in March last year by Marque (above left). It features a letter ‘G’ for Glasgow surrounded by three concentric circles (or parts of circles), with the solid red outline representing the number 20.

The length of the other concentric lines then relate to the number of sports on the programme (the yellow ring is 17/20th of a full circle); and the 11 days of the competition (the blue line represents 11/20ths of a circle). David Airey over at Logo Design Love has a good write up on Marque’s work.

Tangent based its 17 pictogram designs on elements of the logo and what they call the “key decisive moments” in each sporting event.

“This is the moment that time, data or measurement is captured, the moment that defines winners,” they explain. “Years of training and preparation culminating in a split second, it is the most dramatic and climactic moment of the event. This is the moment we’re capturing for the pictograms.”

The pictograms are based on the concentric rings that appear in the logo and use identical line thickness and spacing. According to the studio, this “dynamic foundation gives the pictogram both energy and motion.” Here are some of our favourites:







Table tennis





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  • Decimal

    I like these much more than the 2014 logo. I’m pretty close to the main site so that’s probably a good thing. The variety of line looks more comfortable in some than others but all look very dynamic.

    Glasgow’s are certainly way more distinctive than London 2012’s. No chance of these being mistaken for Atlanta’s pictograms.

  • Ryan Wang

    To summarise my comment in 3 words. – Oh my gosh.

  • Steve Lambert

    Generally, I like them and the concept, but I think some of them need to be looked at again — I’m not keen on the switch to 3D in the weightlifting one, for example.

  • Graphic Design Manchester

    Should be good when they are finished.

  • Pannett

    These are great, well played Tangent (& Marque for the original branding)

  • Michael


    They don’t do it for me.

    Feel amateurish.

  • Calypso

    I think they’re beautiful. I wish London 2012 was benefitting from such good design…

  • HC

    The “G”…Glenn Beck! Nice!

  • badinicreateam

    it’s a very difficult work to do something new in these kind of pictograms, these are good but not innovative. nice job.

  • Kossyo


  • Robert Eames

    Not a project I’d care to undertake. It’s not everyday you take on a project that has already been designed so many times. Coming up with a “new, fresh approach” is daunting. I like some of the pictograms, but the sheer number required says some won’t be as strong as others, so kudos to all involved.

  • cheryl hogue

    I really like the swim, bike and wrestling because they flow with the circular motif. I’d like to see that same feel with the others.

  • spacca

    sorry, but this lot look way too week. Placing nice strong linework against very thin lines makes the thin lines look even less significant. In general they look ok but nothing that a few more days of studious development wouldn’t cure. 70% there in my books.

  • stu

    Amateurish i agree but good effort – if anything they make 2012 look better

  • Rui Leitão

    I like the way it was structured all pictograms, but I can not have is the same view of the logo…

  • Stacey

    I do not care for them at all. The differing line weights are distracting and the double thick lines are unnecessary. They are not iconic and remind me of stick figures with flourish.

  • Ross Pichler

    I agree with Spacca, some are perfect but others are clumsy. Shame.

  • dan waits

    I find the comments so far to be interesting, & a bit cranky, but not surprising.

    I think they look simple, clean, & look like today.

    I like them a lot!

  • manicule

    the boxing one makes me giggle, but that’s just me. i also wonder how one tells the difference (using only the image) between judo and wrestling. but other than that i love the thinking behind the pictograms. and i think the thick lines emphasise the important elements of each image, the ones that are most full of power and motion.

  • Fran

    I can’t see these working on a variety of scales with the thin/thick line combination – it looks like a Live Trace gone wrong. It’s an unenviable task for sure, as many have said, but I think in trying to conceptualise the way they reach each pictogram design they’ve massively overcomplicated what should be as simple a process as possible.

  • chris

    A difficult job and not a success – too many jarring lines and moments, balance not right.
    I think the concept has become a parody of itself and these things will appear in the outbox if you get my drift!


  • Nitish

    I really like the process of making the pictogram s, but i am worried about placing the thin lines with the thick strokes. for me they are not going very good together.
    Nice work.

  • Michael Smith

    I agree with Fran and Chris. Sorry, they are too complex and lack design refinement to be effective.

  • Jimbo

    I think these kick off where SomeOne’s designs for the London 2012 Sports Pictograms.

    They take the ‘dynamic’ approach like SomeOne did too. But seem to ignore the more practical needs of pictograms.

    I wonder is there are a set of ‘small size’ applications.

    SomeOne did a whole related set for these.

    There are a few rather uncomfortable curves in here — the back of the cyclist has a rather awkward fit.

    I prefer SomeOne’s set.

    But admire the ambition behind these.

  • Paul Henson

    Nice to see some real conceptual thought behind the execution.
    A triumph.

  • Paul Sharp

    I think these work really well. It is obvious the thicker lines have been used to make the winning athlete more prominent, so for me this is a good thing.

    Hadn’t heard of Tangent before this, but they can be very satisfied with this piece of work.

  • Dan

    Someones been using the Polar Clock screensaver…

  • Art

    Are men the only gender involved in these activities? I don’t see any female forms, a form I prefer! :-)

  • y

    I think they all look familiar, same as the ones used at the olympics. it is better if they use something that reflects both the event and the host city (Glasgow )!

  • jonny knight


    The methodology promises flair, but the execution proves to be varied. Let’s face it, it a difficult job to pull it off, so well done to all.

    As reference, my particular favorite at the moment is Beijing 2008… anyone else?

  • Honda Service Atlanta

    Fantastic designs. Kudos to the artists involved. Simple but striking at the same time. Hope they make t-shirts as I’d be sure to buy some.

  • alain Filiz

    nothing new here……… is difficult to break new ground on these yet it can be done..let your talent go wild and feel it

  • Ric

    Agreed the contrast in line weight may become a struggle when scaled down, some contain to many elements and are over complicated for my liking. To re-invent something that has being done so well in the past will always be a challenge.

  • Ross Barry

    Like the use of circles to construct the figures – gives a lot of movement and pacing. Always a difficult job to reinvent the pictogram, but certainly some new ideas here. Good to see some concept behind the set as well.

  • cisco

    Loving these shapes – many with real grace and form
    For me the London set are ugly and clumsy, don’t look designed

  • c

    IThe runner is genius!

  • Sam Mearns

    The whole point is communication… They are superb.

  • pixelbreaker

    Yeah, that logo looks pretty familiar.

  • craig wilson

    I saw the full presentation on the ‘how’ this was done recently at the Working to Win conference in Glasgow showing how each pictogram was mapped against each of the concentric rings, when you understand this you fully appreciate the simplicity and paradoxically the complexity of the pictograms and the creative thought processes to generate these. Well done Tangent is all I can say.