With the 31st Summer Olympics, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil now over, it seems like as good as time as ever to offer a few opinions on the branding and design of their spectacular games. For starters, the logo (the 1st ever 3D designed Olympic logo) was a great improvement on London 2012’s attempt and managed to invoke the color and carnival atmosphere of the city while ingeniously mimicking the peaks of Sugar Loaf mountain and reflecting the local landscape. The official typeface, Fonte Rio 2016™ on first glance a little comic sans-ish in nature ended up being a versatile solution to an event with many moving parts, tying them all together in a consistent and concise way.
Then there’s Vicious and his pals who made up the mascots, a merry band of Pokeman-styled Brazilian animals apparently born out of the explosion of joy from the announcement of Rio’s successful bid for the games. They were a hit with children and Olympic wrestlers alike and are projected to help generate $394 million in merch sales, again better than London’s twin cyclopses effort.
Last but not least, The games would be nothing without the medals and again, the Rio Games came up with an elegant way to pay homage to their ancient Greek heritage (Laurel leaves – check, Greek Goddess – check) while still managing to make them seem current and relevant with minimalist touches to symbols that could easily be overwhelmed by pomp and ceremony imagery.
All in all, a stylishly executed Olympic games for Rio. Let’s hope Tokyo can carry the design torch to even greater heights in 2020. I’m already hopeful as their logo reminds of my personal favorite Olympic branding from the Munich 1972 games – minimalist, simple and effective. What’s yours?
-Dan Rosen, Art Director