A closer look at Rio’s 2016 Olympic logo


Web Designer

With the 2016 Rio Olympics in full swing, we thought it would be a great opportunity to have a closer look at it’s branding.


The 2016 Olympic logo is inspired by Brazil’s rich history of carnivals and its colourful people. It’s supposed to represent energy, passion and unity.


The colour choices for the logo were derived from Rio’s environment.


Symbolises the sun and Brazil’s warm and happy nature.


Represents the water surrounding Rio.


Stands for Brazil’s lush forests and its hope for the future


The logo also makes a rather clever reference in its shape to arguably Rio’s most famous landmark, Pao de Acucar or Sugarloaf Mountain.


The energetic logo is accompanied with an interconnected and fluid typeface that reitterates some of the graphics key attributes of unity and and energy.

In addition, the main logo for the 2016 Olympics is an illustrative artwork which has some of Brazil’s famous landmarks intertwined such as the Tijuca Forest, The Christ the Redeemer statue and The Lapa Arches.



The artwork also forms the backdrop to icons for each of the individual sports.


Some of the best and worst Olympic logos

Designing a logo for the Olympics is easier said than done. The logo has to be unique, look good across a multitude of media as well as within sporting environments, such as at the bottom of a pool!


Torino 2006

The logo for the 2006 Olympics doesn’t look particularly eye catching and feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Nagano 1998

Often when the Olympic logos have athletes incorporated into their design they tend to look childlike and often resemble stick figure. Therefore kudos to the Nagano logo which has managed to include sporting figures without making them look too cartoon-y.

Mexico 1968

The Mexico Olympics of 1968 was inspired by mexican folk art and the popular op-art style of the 1960s.


Munich 1972

The abstract logo that was used during the 1972 Munich games was intentionally designed to avoid any reference to a particular country and to promote unity – This logo is all the more poignant considering the Munich Massacre followed.

London 2012

Although the logo came under a lot of criticism for its fragmented and disjointed designed, even though the logo is supposed to represent a unifying event, the boldness and confidence of the London 2012 logo has to be applauded.