By Jennifer Farley

Nice Start to the Design Year with the Rio 2016 Logo

By Jennifer Farley

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games logo was unveiled on Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro on December 31st, just before midnight. 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. I’m not too fond of the type but more importantly, what do you think of the first major identity of 2011, the Rio logo? Does it fulfill the “promise of progress”?

Check out the logo in action on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games website.

  • It’s not too bad. I can see what you mean about the typeface, but it’s better than the London 2012 logo and probably cost a fraction of the price!

  • I like the typeface – it’s playful and has a bit of energy and passion to it. Not corporate or stodgy in any way. Plays into the whole way that Brazil markets themselves and their people.

  • Gustavo

    The logo also represents the form of the sugar loaf, one of Rio’s famous postcards and you can see in the same art the words for RIO coming together with those human figures dancing, just take a better look at it. It represents well the nature of rio with mountains by the sea. I loved it!!

  • Gustavo

    The logo in materialized 3d in its presentarion

  • mathieuf

    Beautiful in its simplicity and fluid curves. Ingenious in how it renders easily in 2-D as well as 3-D sculptures. The human figures and colors will easily be interpreted and described as representing many different ideals and dreams. The font continues the fluid theme, giving impressions of friendliness and peace. Overall it is clean, elegant, friendly, and inclusive.

  • StevenHu

    Am I the only one to see two large ovals with strangely linked blobs between them in the foreground? The logo look vaguely like comic goggles. I had to look again and again until I saw the figures. Seeing the “plagiarized” logo helped correct my vision.

    • At the first notice, even i didn’t see the thing inside logo but it took merely 5-6 sec to find the human images inside the logo.. :)
      Then i saw the other logo and that seems better than that

  • mikef

    I believe the logo lacks balance, fails to demonstrate the openness of the event to those around the world (closed intertwined ring). I think the text and traditional logo would have been sufficient.

    I do not think it was plagiarism.

    I do like the ‘Telluride Foundation’ logo better because of the heart shape within the design.

    • I think the color made the difference b/w the two logos. In the ‘Telluride Foundation’ logo the colors made us to see the human ring immediately but it took to resolve them in Olympic logo.. Nowadays no one complain about design plagiarism, same kind of ideas comes to many.. If u doubt that, just visit 99 designs.. You will find them

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the comment on the font, the text/year is the best part of the logo, but other than that, the logo itself doesn’t hold together. The top shape more than dominates what is below, and is dependent upon the gradient to understand the shape. That is not going to carry forward very well to the logo in small sizes. I count at least 3 blues, what is the relationship between all the colors?

  • Dorothy S.

    C’mon, this isn’t plagiarism, copy/paste or whatever you like to call it. Indeed there are some similarities but not enough to think they copied the whole thing. In my humble, opinion, people are jealous of the company that came up with this design. You want to see plagiarism? Have a lookie here at the 4th photo:

  • Gary Marlowe

    What everyone has missed is the biggest story surrounding the 2016 logo. The Telluride Foundation’s logo may be very similar, but in fact it itself is a rip off of another logo…one that dates back to 2004. Amazingly, that logo was for a carnival in…you guessed it…Brasil

    Take a look at it here

    Read more on my Blog

    See yet another similar logo at

    Gary Marlowe
    twitter @gmarlowe

  • that’s a really tall logo..

  • rinchops

    my 1st thought was it looks like a thong

Get the latest in Front-end, once a week, for free.