The Rio 2016 Olympics Logo: A Closer Look

On New Year’s Eve, in front of nearly two million people the world got its first look at the emblem designed for the 2016 Games. When designing the logo the challenge was to find a way to represent the Passion and Transformation of a city and an entire country, and project these values to the rest of the world. A brand that must express unity. Inspire achievement and optimism. Avoid clichés and present Rio de Janeiro as the site of the largest sporting event in the world.

Although presented initially in 2D form, the logo device was, apparently conceived as a three-dimensional form as this model illustrates.

The early renderings of the logo don’t look like much but they emphasise that there is perhaps a strong, simple idea at the heart of this work. It is hard to imagine from it conception but at it’s starting point the feel of the logo was meant to be an altogether warmer, more distinctive,  and organic look and feel.

To all this is added a rather neat, abstract reference to a Rio landmark, Pão de Açúcar or Sugarloaf Mountain, the shape of which is mapped by the logo.

Colour choices were led by the Brazilian environment: “Yellow symbolises the sun and our warm, vivacious and happy nature. Blue expresses the fluidity of the water that surrounds us, and our easygoing way of life. Green represents our forests and hope, a positive vision that inspires us to go even further.”

The idea was to root the identity in the essence of Rio’s Cariocas – its citizens. “We were born from a mixture of ethnicities. We warmly embrace all ethnicities, faiths and generations. We share our sky, our ocean and our happiness with the world.”

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