The Cultural Identity of Image Design, with Olympic Games as Example

By Ya-Chieh Lee and Ming-Chyuan Ho.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In an international event such as Olympic Games, emblem design is a crucial image factor as it not only conveys rich information, but also expresses the vision and culture of the host country. The integration between internationalization and localization in the design has been the recent focus of the host countries of Olympic Games. For the emblem design, it has to be able to deliver a universal message for the whole world, as well as demonstrate host country’s culture as unique identity. This study applies Likert Scale for questionnaire survey and feedback interview for collecting the data. There are total of 66 subjects with the following details: half from design and non-design background; 31 male and 35 female subjects; and they possess various education levels of undergraduate, graduate and above.
This research attempts to gain deeper understanding from the subjects on the culture in icon recognition of each emblem designs from five consecutive Olympics since the 1992 until 2008—Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing—based on the following five criteria: whether it is capable of representing the Olympic Games, closely associated to the host country and its national culture and characteristics, as well as equipped with function of culture recognition. These five criteria explore whether the subjects possess different level of abilities in communicating and recognizing the cultural identity.
The results show that gender does not affect the way people recognize culture in those Olympic emblems. On the other hand, the educational backgrounds of the subjects show significant results. The ones with design background express that the Beijing Olympics emblem design possesses significant differences regarding to its representativeness towards the event, host country’s national characteristics and culture recognition. Non-design background subjects show that they are unable to differentiate the five criteria in the five Olympic emblem designs provided. Therefore, it is concluded that design training has certain influence towards recognizing cultural icons. Furthermore, the results also show that the Beijing Olympics emblem design is the most capable of representing host country’s cultural identity, whilst Barcelona’s emblem design is the least capable of cultural recognition.

Keywords: Olympic Games, Emblem Design, Cultural Identity, Communication

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.167-174. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.442MB).

Ya-Chieh Lee

PHD Student, College of Design, Yunlin University of Science & Technology, YunLin, Taiwan

I am a student and study in graduate school of design doctoral program in YunLin University of Science & Technology of Taiwan. My research field concerns design communication, cultural identity and cultural image, especially in humanity cognitive psychology in image influence. Besides, I majored in Animation course in master course and have work experience in making movie animation and web animation.

Professor Ming-Chyuan Ho

Professor, Graduate School of Design Doctoral Program, Yunlin University of Science & Technology, YunLin, Taiwan


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