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Dissecting the Rio 2016 Logo

By Jennifer Farley



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The Rio 2016 Olympic Games logo was unveiled on Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro. The identity is made up of multi-colored figures holding hands over the Olympic rings, and the words Rio 2016 in a script typeface. It was designed by Brazilian agency Tatil.


According to the organizers of the games, the new Rio 2016 emblem is inspired by the vision of “All Brazilians uniting to deliver the greatest festival on earth and proudly advancing our national promise of progress.” That’s a bit of a mouthful.

It has, as its essence, the concepts of passion and transformation, which both reflect modern-day Brazil–a country full of passion and that is in the process of transforming itself into a world leader. This positioning is supported by four pillars: harmonious diversity, contagious energy, exuberant nature, and the Olympic spirit. These have all been masterfully combined to give Rio 2016 its new colorful identity.

It almost goes without saying now when it comes to Olympic logos, but there has been some controversy already associated with this emblem. Adweek is reporting on their blog that there are cries of plagiarism as the new logo looks somewhat like the Telluride Foundation logo. Fred Gelli, director of the Tatil design agency acknowledged a “similarity” with the Foundation’s logo, but said the general concept of people embracing each other is not novel, and denied plagiarism. Quite right, too.


Personally I like the logo, it has a nice sense of movement and color. Check out the logo in action on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games website.

What do you think of the first major identity of 2011, the Rio logo? Does it fulfill the “promise of progress”?

Jennifer Farley is a designer, illustrator and design instructor based in Ireland. She writes about design and illustration on her blog at Laughing Lion Design.

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