Rio’s a hugger.
Getting to wear your country’s flag while competing in the Olympic Games is a dream for millions of athletes. Especially the athletes of those “Olympic Sports,” you know, the sports that people pay attention to once every 4 years. For sports like Swimming and Gymnastics, the timing of training, retirement, going pro, is all on a four-year schedule, because this chance to be in the spotlight is often a once in a lifetime opportunity.
But the Olympics are a once in a lifetime opportunity for designers as well because the Olympics present the opportunity to design the most visible logo in the world. But Olympic logos, once chosen, aren’t always greeted with applause. Olympic logo’s from the past 100 years have been good, bad, and weird. When the London logo was unveiled there was actually a petition to scrap the logo and design a new one.
But Rio’s 2016 Olympics logo has avoided such criticism, perhaps because Tatil’s creative director Frederico Gelli describes the logo as, “not designed for designers, but for everybody in the world.” The Brazilian ad agency Tatil beat 139 design studios and ad agencies to win the 2016 Olympics logo job. Logos are faced with the challenge to reflect the host country’s culture, while still being universally understood.
The symbol for this summer’s Olympics shows three figures jubilantly holding hands. Gelli says this design “represents Brazil’s energy and how we receive people.” The three people are literally embracing Rio, the shape of their bodies are inspired by the landscape and motion of the city. All the curves and spaces represent local landmarks, most notably Sugarloaf Mountain. Its animated quality allows for whenever you to look at it to see something different. At certain angles, the dancing people assume the letters R-I-O.
Even the colors are significant to the city, reflecting Rio’s vibrant environment. Yellow symbolizes the sun, blue the sea and green the forests.
No font was good enough for the design, so the Brazilian wing of Dalton Maag, a UK typeface firm created a new font for the logo in an attempt to give personality to those three letters.
The secret to a good logo isn’t just technical, it’s emotional. The embrace gives the logo a welcoming feeling and illustrates the feel of the Olympics. Coming together as athletes and as nations. The Rio logo embraces the Olympic spirit. Inspire and unite athletes from all over the world.