So how do you go about designing a logo that will be viewed by billions worldwide? A brandmark so recognisable that it’s going to be part of the social fabric of the world for 16 sport-riddled days. It has to be flexible enough to squeeze on a pen, but impressive enough to make a lasting impact up on a billboard. Oh, not mention it needs to capture the spirit of a city and unite a nation who have endured economic, political and ethical domestic hardships.
This was the assignment Brazilian graphic designer Fred Gelli, and his design studio at Tátil, were tasked with long before the 2016 Rio Olympic opening ceremony kicked off the games on August 5. The end result… not only did they accomplish this feat, they also managed to create the first ever Olympic logo to be constructed in three dimensions!
Very much in the spirit of the games, the pitch for the final logo design was a fierce competition. The nearly 140 strong ‘competitors’ battled it out for the top prize but Gelli, and his agency, claimed the golden honour of constructing the ‘Rio 2016′ brand. It wasn’t long after they’d stepped down off that victorious podium that they got to work trialling 50 different versions before settling on the final logo, the consequent 3D model and an emblem to represent an entire country.
Gelli set about creating the now familiar ‘embrace’ logo incorporating the famous Rio Sugarloaf Mountain and the spirit of the city all within the fluid motion of an endless ‘roller-coaster-like’ graphic. As a result the energy, unity and positive resolve of the Brazilian people can be seen in the logo; as well as the subsequent Games branding.
“Our target was really the entire world”
– Fred Gelli
Rio 2016 is certainly one of the better conceptual and presented Olympic logos from the last 92 years, dating back to Paris 1924. You can read more about the logo, the brand, the font, and even the official mascots on the official Rio 2016 branding section of the website.