Olympic Logo Tutorial #6: Paris – 1924

olympic logo

Today, we will proceed with the last Olympic Logos series, going almost 90 years back in time to recreate the logo of eighth Olympic Games – Paris 1924. The Olympic games had an important role in history of Olympiad. In 1924 summer Olympics in Paris, the first conventional emblem was introduced (earlier games introduced only special flags) with the first motto – “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. And although the emblem of Paris 1924 Olympiad differs from later Olympic logos, it is still a very memorizing design. We’ll try to reproduce this logo with the help of Adobe Illustrator.

1. Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document 1000 x 600 px. Now, you can turn grids on (Command + “). Now, we’ll need to draw a shield – to do it, grab a Pen tool (P) and create a left part of shield with black stroke color and no fill. The size of it should be around 450 px high and 225 px wide. Now, with the Reflect Tool (O) Alt-click on the right edge of shield part and enter Vertical axis and press Copy to mirror the shape copy. Now, select just the 2 pairs of neighboring anchor points with Direct Selection (A) and press Alt + Shift + Command + J to bring points to average position and join them in one shape.screenshot

2. Create a small rectangle about 20 x 25 px, rotate it to about 30 degrees and position it over the top-left corner of the shield. Now, choose a Reflect Tool (O) and Alt-click at the middle of shield, choose Vertical axis and click Copy. The rectangle duplicate will appear on the top-right shield corner (if you missed, you can move it to place with arrow keys). Now, select all 3 shapes, open Pathfinder panel and press Unite button, then click Expand to create one single shape. Fill it with white and make stroke black 3 px width. Now duplicate this layer by dragging to New button in Layers panel. Lock the first original layer and name it OUTLINE.


3. Name the second new layer we just copied SEA, select the shield and go to Object > Path > Offset Path, enter -12 px for offset and apply. The new smaller shape will appear. Now select the original shield on this layer and delete it, and hide the smaller shield for now (Command + 3). We will need this shape later on this layer as a mask, but for now we want it hidden. Also, you may want to turn off the grids (Shift + Command + “).screenshot

4. On the SEA layer, create a rectangle (M) 450 x 100 px on the top part of shield on the background layer. Make it 2 pt black stroke and change it’s fill to pattern: navigate to Window > Swatch libraries > Patterns > Basic Graphic > Lines, and choose “10 lpi 30%” pattern. Don’t close this pattern library yet.screenshot

5. Create another rectangle (M) exactly under the first one, this time make it 450 x 200 px. Apply 2 pt black stroke to it, and choose a pattern fill from Basic Graphics Lines library – this time “10 lpi 20%”. Now, grab the Rotate Tool (R), click Enter, and check Pattern box and uncheck Object box. Insert 90 for angle and apply. This way we will be able to rotate the pattern and keep the object itself intact.


6. Now, take a Line Tool (\) and draw a line at the bottom of underlying shield, it should be more then 400 px long and black 2 pt stroke. Now, go to Effects > Distort & Transform > Transform, and apply the settings shown in the image below. Enter vertical move 10 px, and enter 13 for number of copies. If the result looks like the image below, you can expand the effect: go to Object > Expand Appearance, then twice press Command + Shift + G to ungroup, and finally group the lines back (Command + G).


7. With the group of lines selected, choose a Warp Tool (Shift +R). You need to deform the lines so that they look like waves – use any tool from this deformation group to achieve the result. You can change the tool settings by pressing enter and altering options. Also you can try changing the tool size by Alt-dragging it (to constrain proportions, Shift + Alt + drag). Now, you can lock both rectangles and group of lines in the layers’ panel for convenience.screenshot

8. The next step is to draw the clouds. You need one larger cloud on the right and smaller one on the left. To make them, create several circles from 10 to 100 px diameter with Ellipse Tool (L) that cover one another, then press Unite in Pathfinder panel (Shift + Command + F9) to combine them in one shape, press Expand. Do the same for second cloud, then fill both clouds with white and apply black 2 pt stroke.


9. To add more details to the clouds, create a circle (L) about 30 x 30 px with no fill and 2 pt black stroke, then take Scissors Tool (C) and cut it in three anchor points to have one-half and 2 quarters of circle. Then place these parts on the clouds to emphasize detail, transforming and duplicating them, to achieve results similar to image below. Finally, group left and right clouds with associated details to get 2 groups.


10. The last thing to do on this layer is masking. Remember the offset shield we created before? Unhide it (Alt + Command + 3), select it and bring it to front (Shift + Command + ]) so that it is on top of all object on this layer. Now, in the Layers panel, choose the SEA layer (it should become blue), go to panel flyout menu ofand select Make Clipping Mask command. Now the entire layer with many objects will be only visible where the mask (the offset shield) is. To make a black border around it, simply apply black 2 pt stroke to the topmost Clipping Path shape. You can lock this layer now.screenshot

11. Create new layer and name it BOAT. Now, we’ll make a boat similar to that from original emblem. For this, create two curved lines with Pen Tool (P) or Pencil Tool (N), as on the image below. Make them no fill and black 8 pt stroke. Now in the Appearance panel for every line add second stroke, change it to white color 4 pt width. Finally, in the Stroke panel choose Round cap for both lines.


12. Select both new lines, and go to Object > Blend > Blend options, choose Specified steps for spacing and 15 for number. Now, press Alt + Command + B to make blend. You’ll have a nice blended lines. Now, to create the boat shape, draw an open path over a blend that resembles boat. Select the shape and blend and press Command + 7 to create clipping mask. To make boat rorders, choose a Clipping path we just made in the Layers panel (on top of Clipping group) and assign it to 2 pt black stroke. Lock the boat group.


13. Now, when the main boat is ready, grab a Line Tool (\) and create a set of ropes and rope ladder. Make them 3 pt black stroke, and group them. Now, select the Pen Tool (P) draw 2 sails with white fill and black 2 pt stroke. Group them too.


14. To complete the boat, let’s define the bow and stern. Create two rectangles (M) on the left and right boat ends, add lines (\) as shown on the image below and group the shapes. To create a bottle, create a small rounded rectangle and even smaller simple rectangle, align them vertically and unite in Pathfinder panel. Place the bottle on the right of the boat.


15. The last objects left are the paddles. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a paddle. As usual, make it white fill and 2 pt black stroke. Now, Option+Shift+drag the paddle to the side to duplicate it keeping the baseline. Repeat the duplication, press Command + D three times to get 5 evenly spaced paddles. Group all paddles. The only problem here is that the bottom part of paddles should be hidden under one of sea waves. So go back to the SEA layer and copy the wave you need from appropriate group, then paste it on BOAT layer over the paddles group. Then continue the wave line with Pen Tool (P) to cover the paddles, and make a clipping mask of it (Command + 7). You can lock the BOAT layer now.


16. Create a new layer and name it DETAILS. Now with Line Tool (\) create a 3 pt black line going from the middle of shield around 40 px long. Then select the Pen Tool (P) and add a shape on the image below with white fill and 2 pt black stroke. Now, with the Rectangle Tool (M) create a rectangle about 60 x 35 px. Add two smaller rectangles on top and subtract them from the first one to get a crown shape. Move bottom anchor points closer with Direct Selection (A) to get a perfect shape.


17.We have the last detail left on this layer. Create a simple ornament as shown on the image below – you can use Pen Tool (P) for it or, like I did, create ellipses and modify them using Direct Selection (A) tool. You’ll need 5 elements for the ornament – top, bottom, left, right, and center. Left and right elements are actually the same object, but mirrored with Reflect Tool (O). When it’s ready, group it and place on the top-left part of emblem. Then Alt+Shift+drag it to the right to copy it and constrain the baseline. You can lock this layer now.


18.Create a new layer and name it TEXT. Now we need to type the proper phrases here. First one is “L’E OLYMPIADE PARIS 1924” – I used 64 pt black Castellar font to imitate the fontface of 1920-s. Make sure it is in upper case (Type – Change case – UPPERCASE). I also reduced the first “e” letter in article and lifted it’s baseline, similar to original. Put this phrase on the upper part of emblem. The second phrase is “COMITE OLYMPIQUE FRANCAIS”, also in uppercase, black 32 pt Bookman Old Style fontface. Place this phrase below the first one. You may want to choose different fonts if you want, however.screenshot

19. Congratulations – the logo is completed! Today we completed an interesting task – using almost no effects and applying only 2 monochrome colors to recreate an emblem that is more than 85 years old! It is not very difficult with the help of Adobe Illustrator tools and commands but this unique emblem of Paris 1924 Olympic Games made me think that in every period of time there was a place for creativity, fantasy, and good design.

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About The Author: DianaBerg

My name is Diana Berg, I am a graphic designer from Donetsk, Ukraine. I work as an illustrator at my brother's web-studio, and I'm also a design teacher at the IT academy. I sincerely believe that good design and creativity will make the world a better place.

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  1. Gravtar for Ilie Ciorba
    Ilie Ciorba June 26th

    Great work Diana! At the first sight is seems to be complicated but you’ve made it very easy to follow. Good job!

    PS I think that the text shoud be placed above or under or somewhere near but really not on the logo itself. Because there are too many details up there and it really looks liek a mess. It’s my opinion anyway.

  2. Gravtar for SAMUEL REMOND
    SAMUEL REMOND January 24th

    Down load file is damaged and can´t be opened