Monday, August 18, 2008

Walking in the Clouds - Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch

The olympic torch is designed by Lenovo, it's a great piece of art, I personally think it's the best looking one I ever thought, and with rich culture elements.

There is good reason why they choose cloud as the most important design elements. And it's amazing that they give the cloud such a good design. Through this image, we would like to spread a message of peace and promote Chinese culture to the rest of the world.”Choosing the scroll theme was also a lucky accident, said senior team member Qiu Jiayu.“We came up with the idea when a colleague rolled up a piece of paper casually at a meeting and we saw that it naturally resembled the shape of the torch.”“Paper is one of the four great inventions in ancient China that was spread to the rest of the world along the ancient Silk Road. Since the planned torch relay route borrowed the idea of the Silk Road, we thought the idea was perfect.”The team decided to cover the torch with rubberized paint to make it more ‘human.’“When they hold the torch, the bearers can feel more of a human-like touch, which is in line with the passing of the flame from person to person."

Design Elements:
Looking like a Chinese paper scroll rolled up at both ends, the symbol of the xiang yun - or auspicious clouds - can be seen from the top and bottom perspectives. The top half of the torch’s length is similarly etched repeatedly with the same motif. This motif is traditionally used by the Chinese to symbolize harmony.

The dominant color of the torch is red, a favorite color among the Chinese (especially during the Lunar New Year) to signify good luck and prosperity. The bottom half of the torch’s length is solid red in color, while the cloud etchings at the top half are similarly in red.
This is the same color used for the seal in the design of the official Olympics emblem for the Beijing 2008 Games, to represent good luck, passion and the Olympic flame. The emblem itself is centrally featured among the etchings of auspicious clouds.

Walking in the "Clouds"

Looking back at the torch design days for the past few weeks, I've been thinking hard about the design elements that went into this project. Among many thoughts coming into my mind, CLOUD is the most important element. As its designers state, it is inspired by a sheet of paper and in this way Chinese want to remind that paper was first manufactured in China. By the way, paper bag now is in fashion now since the plastic bags has been partically banned.The idea of walking in the clouds is so romantic that it been used in the sports clothing design since the 2008 olympic year is so related to sports games. There is with the cloud pattern been produced, receiving great welcome. Abundant Cultural Elements In the design of the 2008 Olympic torch, cultural elements play a very important role in this innovative project. The "cloud of promise" design is far more culture-oriented than most other Lenovo designs. This torch design integrates three Chinese cultural elements: scroll, cloud pattern and lacquer red. Today, I will discuss the cloud pattern. In the following pictures, on the silver aluminum surface of the upper part of the torch, you will see the embedded red cloud pattern with strong ties to Chinese cultural style. The gift decorated with cloud patter you see people waving in the opening ceromony is so greatly looking. Besides, this cloud pattern is also widely used in the design of fabric.Cloud symbols in the past In modern life, cloud can be seen everywhere. Cloud reflection in building Cloud pattern in carpet or Cloud pattern added fresh elements to the fashion design, for example, the leather belst. Redesigning the cloud pattern Focusing on the humanistic spirit of the harmony between human beings and nature, Lenovo's designers studied the cloud patterns found on a lot of original vessels - "bubble pattern", "0ine pattern" and "cloud pattern" all have long histories and auspicious meanings. Cloud design The preliminary pattern is a screw-style pattern - very simple, but too geometric. It can't deliver the original ideas and expound the understanding about cloud. From the universal archetype of clouds, we wanted to refine a brand-new cloud image with rich meaning: one that has a sense of fashion style, three dimensions and a flowing effect.

We also attempted to design a decorative cloud image with a more classic style. Ultimately we were unsatisfied with these prototypes, but we kept designing until at last, we designed the cloud pattern we wanted. The cloud pattern is not only the symbol abstracted from thousands of years Chinese culture, it endows the torch with more culture-oriented features and gives the torch the feeling of light and intelligence.

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