The key to understanding the Look of the Games and other graphical elements of these Games is – of course – the Korean alphabet Hangul, the “national heritage” of Korea. Hangul originated in the Middle Ages; the oldest historical evidence of its existence is the Hunminjeongum manuscript from 1446, which is exhibited in the Gansong Art Museum in Seoul. In the manuscript, which contains other accompanying texts in addition to the alphabet, Sejong the Great, the fourth king of the Choson dynasty, presented the script developed by him, today’s Hangul. In 1997, UNESCO added Sejong’s manuscript to the “Memory of the World” list. In Korea, Hangul is regarded as a cultural initial spark, because only the (uniform) typeface allowed people to express themselves in writing, to create literature, etc. Hangul was “the driving force behind the growth of Korea’s national power and the prosperity of its culture”, as the organisers of the 2018 Games wrote in the official report. Moreover, linguists all over the world praise Hangul “for its original and scientific system”. Additionally, the Look of the Games Guidelines continues that “Hangul can express all the sounds that a person utters”. So now, 572 years after its creation, Sejong’s innovative typeface became the number one source of inspiration for the Look of the Games of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Hangul’s 14 consonants and 16 vowels can be used not only as a typeface, but also as a versatile design element. In the Look of the Games these key terms appear in one and the same grid, which, according to the official report, should represent “the harmony and interaction between the people from the world at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018”.
© Interbrand, Seoul