Nothing like a good logo controversy to kick off the New Year: the emblem for the 2016 Rio Olympics was unveiled on New Year’s Eve and immediately ran into accusations of plagiarism.
The logo, designed by Rio-based Tátil, “translates the Olympic spirit and the nature, feelings, and aspirations of the athletes, Rio and the cariocas,” according to the official guff. “Different countries, athletes and peoples are joined in a warm embrace – in an individual and collective move, which at a second glance, reveals one of Rio’s most beautiful icons, a vibrant Sugar Loaf, radiating joy, unity, celebration, and friendship.”
However, a story in the Washington Post, following up on Brazilian media reports, alleged a similarity with the logo of US not-for-profit the Telluride Foundation. Tátil’s Fred Gelli put any likeness down to coincidence and noted that the broad concept of people embracing each other is not novel. Quite.
Apparently, Tátil’s design was selected from eight finalists, after a five-month selection process that initially involved 139 agencies. As an exercise in box-ticking it does its job: joyful amorphous people? Tick. Suggestion of diversity? Tick. ‘Friendly’ scripty typeface? Tick. Values that could be ascribed to just about any bidding city? Err.. check.
Lord knows, the London logo has much about it to dislike but at least it’s more memorable than this insipid effort.
UPDATE: Some commenters have been complaining about the brevity of this story which was intended mainly to note the logo’s launch and the accompanying furore. Go here for a more detailed critique.
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