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tractarian

Evolution of Host Broadcaster/OBS graphics

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Here's a look at how the in-house graphics for the various host broadcasters have changed throughout the years.

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Munich 1972.  At the dawn of the computer age.  No frills.

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Montréal 1976.   Not much to see here.   Circular vignette-type effect used to superimpose an image over background.
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Los Angeles 1984.  Multiple colors used for the first time - and a deep drop shadow on everything.  Wavy flag graphics also make their first appearance.

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Seoul 1988.  The deep drop shadow remains.  Individual competitors' names appeared on a gray slab with a wavy flag.

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Barcelona 1992.  Now we're getting creative.  No more drop shadow, and different color text for different purposes.  Circular button-style flag icons.  All over a light gray rounded rectangle base.  Cobi signals that Mr. Ewing has fouled out.

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Lillehammer 1994.  A truly artistic approach, incorporating the look of the games and pictograms.  Text presented in mixed case.  Flag graphics accompanied by horizontally-aligned country code in yellow.

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Atlanta 1996.  White and yellow text presented in small caps over blue-green background with sublimated Olympic rings and look of the games.  Flags combined with easily legible country codes.  One of the most visually appealing packages, IMO.

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Nagano 1998. Text in mixed case, with combined flag-country code graphics on multi-colored grid panels.  Pretty.

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Sydney 2000.  Introduces standard graphics package that is used, almost unchanged, in 2002 and 2004.  Simple grid format with white mixed-case text.  Flags accompanied by itty-bitty country codes.  Individual names over blue background, with Olympic rings omnipresent.

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Salt Lake 2002.  Pretty much identical to Sydney.

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Athens 2004.  Again, almost identical to Sydney.  The country codes were made bolder and easier to read.

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Turin 2006.  The grid gives way to a more stylized, slanted approach.  New typefaces used for top-line and second-line text.  Everything is on a blue background.

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Beijing 2008.  In my view, the first graphics package intended primarily for HD.  Oblique theme is retained from Turin, but the flags and country codes are more straightforward and upright.  Fonts appear to be thinner, and surnames are capitalized.  White numbers on red indicate rank; white on blue indicate start position.  Look of the games sublimated into top-line background.

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Vancouver 2010.  Not much changes from Beijing.  Custom top-line typeface is different, and names are now small caps for given names, capitals for surnames.

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London 2012.  Simple, slick evolution.  The typefaces are unified - no longer are there five different fonts on one screen.  Names are again small-caps/all-caps, and everything is slightly italicized.  Olympic rings lose their color.  Flag icons have 3-dimensional perspective.  And everything is slickly animated.

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Sochi 2014. Virtually identical to London.

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Rio 2016.  Most drastic evolution in years.  The blue background becomes more of a dark teal/forest green.  The text is *extremely* thin.  Yellow text reappears, for uniform numbers, top-line titles, and country codes.  The flags are flattened.  Clearly no one is meant to see these graphics on a "standard-definition" television!

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I didn't knew (or probably i forgot about it) Cobi was used on the broadcaster OBS graphics. That was actually cute, no wonder why the mascot became popular.

Like the evolution of Rio visual identity over the previous last ones. I'm kinda glad they abandoned those 3D flags from London and Sochi, kinda made them slighty harder to see/identify. 

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1992-1998 the most interesting evolution of the graphics (I particularly liked Nagano), but got a boring from 2000 when everything was just tweaked slightly from games to games, probably a result of the creation of the OBS rather than local host broadcasting companies for each games.  Rio is the biggest evolution but still basically the same as London - a nice design though but think the yellow text is awful.  

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Speaking of Atlanta and Nagano... I'm from Canada and I have access to both US and Canada feeds (NBC/CBS and CBC). I've always wondered why NBC/CBS didn't use the IOC graphics at the time. NBC in 1996 was using a boring white over gray design with no style at all, even if the games were in their own country and weren't they the host broadcasters??? I also remember the IOC graphics at the beginning of events included a miniature video presenting the sport. Americans did not see them.

CBS did the same customizing in Nagano with a overly simple and boring blue design. Also why US broadcasters always want to customize so much their feed, even having their own replay logo and using different cameras at different moments than the standard feed, adding custom informations for athletes like their age, etc... ?

CBC on the other hands never customized the international feed, but also integrated the same IOC graphics for their own presentation (presenter names, etc...)

I remember in Albertville 92, the international feed was using French text, mostly noticeable in the figure skating events :) 

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