Universal Language

Universal Language

. 1 min read

The Olympics did it. Can we do it in sustainability?

If only sustainability were a bit more like the Olympic pictograms. “The genius of the (Olympic) pictograms is that it’s a single consistent language that also implies a huge amount of diversity”. They also depict action and people taking action, better (I spent a bit longer than I should have comparing the Olympic pictograms and the SDG icons). True, the Olympic pictograms depict sports but this still had me thinking about how we communicate complex messages in a way that transcends language barriers and communicates effectively without confusion (as the designers aimed to do when creating these pictograms). So, who will be the first to put together a display of the 169 SDG targets in under 5 minutes while dressed in blue and white costumes (arguably the most impressive Olympic display ever).  More on the history of pictograms as a universal language here and history of 2020 Olympic pictograms here.

+ How to we translate sustainability in a way that transcends language barriers and communicates effectively without confusion (as the designers aimed to do when creating the Olympic pictograms)?


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