Danwei notes that Beijing’s Olympics committee has come up with its version of the icons for the sports of the games. These graphics are modeled after seal script, a style of writing that came to prominence about two thousand years ago.
Above are the icons for baseball, shooting, sailing, softball, cycling, and golf hockey.
Here’s part of how the committee describes the items:
Named “the beauty of seal characters” and with strokes of seal characters as their basic form, the Pictograms of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games integrate pictographic charm of inscriptions on bones and bronze objects in ancient China with simplified embodiment of modern graphics, making them recognizable, rememberable and easy to use.
Although seal script can still be seen on name chops (seals) and some calligraphy, few people can read it well if at all.
- comparison of icons from different Olympics
- sample of seal-script calligraphy, collection of the National Palace Museum
source: New Olympic Icons, Danwei, August 7, 2006