Barcelona 1992 – Emblem

Designer: Josep Maria Trias


In early 1988, the Organising Committee of the Barcelona Games presented the official emblem created by Josep Maria Trias that was chosen from a series of works submitted by various graphic artists. The starting point of Trias’ work was to artistically depict a figure with a very dynamic attitude. In the designer’s eyes, this already contained an important point of contact with the Olympic Games: the symbiosis of man and movement/sport, but also with cheerfulness and celebration, which established the connection to Barcelona as a modern, Mediterranean city of celebration. Josep Maria Trias deliberately chose the colours for his emblem: strong red, yellow and blue, which in turn proves a reference to one of Barcelona’s most famous sons, the artist Joan Miró (1893–1983). The red and yellow of Miró’s “vision” symbolise the flags of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain. The Spanish fire, its hot sun, the warm light of Iberia, but also human emotions and feelings, such as the hot-blooded flamenco, all this is contained in red and yellow. Blue, on the other hand, is reminiscent of the Mediterranean and serves to balance the warm colours with which it has been combined. The way Trias drew his emblem differs fundamentally from the logos of earlier Olympic Games, which presented themselves as strictly geometric constructs. It is remarkable how many human references, values, emotions, etc. are hidden in these simple, seemingly thrown down brushstrokes. The person laughing in the emblem spreads out his arms, underlining his hospitality in a dynamic way. The fact that he stands in his jubilant pose above the writing “Barcelona 1992” and above the Olympic rings makes a simple reference to the host city and the occasion. The typography Trias chose for his emblem is Times New Roman; a choice that, according to various experts, gives the emblem a serious and institutional character despite its playfulness.