Dalton Maag creates Rio 2016 Olympic typeface

Dalton Maag has created the typeface for the Rio 2016 Olympics, which comprises 5448 bespoke characters.

Rio 2016 typeface
Rio 2016 typeface

The letters are created to look like they were drawn in a fast and furious movement ‘suggesting the movements of the athletes in action’.

The range of different curves is designed to give the letters an informality which, says Rio 2016, is ‘inspired by the joyfulness of the Brazilian people’.

'M', and the Copacabana pavement
‘M’, and the Copacabana pavement

The design team also looked to the city of Rio de Janeiro for inspiration – for example the Copacabana pavement is present in the letters ‘N’ and ‘M’ and the letter ‘R’ resembles the Rock of Gávea.

The Rio 2016 font was created by Dalton Maag’s Brazilian office, which worked with the London team during the font engineering stage, and also with Brazilian consultant Gustavo Soares, who worked as the technical interface between Dalton Maag and the Rio 2016 team.

'R' and Rock of Gávea
‘R’ and Rock of Gávea

The team worked on the project for eight months, creating 23 studies until all 5448 characters had been perfected.

Beth Lula, branding director for Rio 2016, says, ‘The creation of a proprietary font will perpetuate the brands and the essence of the Games, in addition to being a very valuable addition to Brazilian design.’

'R' and Rock of Gávea
‘T’ and Christ the Redeemer Statue

The typeface follows the identity for the Rio 2016 Olympics, which was designed by Brazilian consultancy Tátil and launched last year.

Rio 2016 typeface
Rio 2016 typeface
Hide Comments (23)Show Comments (23)
  • Markus November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Oh please. You can’t get from the Rock of Gávea to that shape of ‘R’ to ‘provide inspiration’. Who are you kidding? They designed a nice font, and then went out to find images of Rio to fit – and slapped them clumsily over the top. PR at it’s most transparent (and maybe effective) but nothing to do with design.

  • W. EDWARDS November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    LOOKS GREAT !!!!

  • Diederik November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hahaha! And the letter T was derived from the Christ statue. I like the typeface but that is complete nonsense.

  • James November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Very nice face – but the “inspiration” images are a classic example of post-rationalising. You could find iconic landmarks in any city and make any font fit into them somehow…

  • Leo November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Really puts the risible 2012 typeface in perspective doesn’t it?

  • Shane November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    With 5448 characters, no doubt a lot of hard work involved. The typeface conveys an energy no doubt reflecting the brief and subject however perhaps a bit more time should have been spent trying to post rationalise in a more honest way. I’m sure the inspiration images would have been on everyone’s mood board but somewhere along the line the pr machine fell short. This should not distract from the fact that Dalton Maag create good work.

  • Mark Roberts November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Yes nice font, but have to agree with all the other post rationalization comments.

  • Rich November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Designers post-rationalise, it’s a fact.

    Great face.

  • Jessica Jenkins November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Beautiful. But they dont look fast and furious, they look calm and graceful.

  • dj November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Its a great rationalisation, and probably true.

    When did the design community get so bitchy?

    Go do something this brilliant and shut up.

  • dj November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    And all those bitchy comments always come from anon.

    Too scared to loose your job?

  • Graeme November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Lovely typeface. Agreed on the above comments, the rationale is embarrassing.

  • faye November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    beautiful font but i don’t think it’s fast and furious. seems pretty calm and peaceful to me which is good as games are supposed to bring the world together.

  • Sonia November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I love it!
    Much, much better than London 2012.
    Its “easy going”, musical, and friendly…just like brazilians are.
    Tudo jóia!
    (Im from Argentina, just in case)

  • JB November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    So Christ the redeemer has bendy arms…….amazing bullshit – well done.

  • Miguel November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    FGS! Copacabana Pavement????

    Technically known as “portuguese stone pavement”, Copacabana pavement was made by portuguese artisans and is an assumed and authorized copy of the the “wave” theme used in many portuguese cities and specially in Lisbon’s central square – Rossio.

    It is not a celebration of beach waves.

    It is a celebration of the portuguese navigations over unknown seawaves.

    That traces the line between mediocre designers and Real Designers.

    Real Designers are not ignorants.

    Real Designers do wider (cultural) researchs!

  • Tom Warren November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Rio has really taken on the creative side. The ‘3D’ logo is fantastic and very daring for an otherwise conservative market. This typeface really matches the whole brand identity so far and looks fantastic.

    Now they just need to worry about building the stadiums, hotels, airports, roads, and railways and they’ll be alright!!

  • R November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Clearly based on the gentle rolling green hills of Antarctica, with the lowercase r designed around the hump of an Emperor penguin’s back and neck, this font ….

    Oh, come on. What’s important is where can I buy this and is there a “dumb” character set that will let me use it easily?

  • jackrozzo November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I’m sorry for the post rationalization issue..it seems like the client wasn’t very perceptive about design so at Dalton Maag they didn’t work too much on justifying the font. I think the font is beautiful though but, as Jessica points out, nothing near fast nor furious…pretty calm and stable instead, with a good personality but still very legible: great job, poor explanation.

  • Ben November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Nice typeface but useless and unreadable for wayfinding/signage in multi languages. Thats where to 2012 scored well, clear and concise. Nice on.

  • Arjun Gehlot November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Agreed. Its a really nice typeface with shitty marketing – R for Rock?

  • Avo November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    i like the lettering, soft, friendly, it would go with many of the olympic campaigns approach over the years. can sometimes be ‘cliché’, but this attempts to move away yet still holding on.

    The London one is still for me one of the best designs, it breaks from this, pushes forward, innovative, brave, progressive. Its more than just the logo. I don’t like the norm, surprise me. The pictograms for London are rock solid.

    I do like this Brazilian one, one of the better ones but for innovative graphic design, London wins.

    Yes, Dalton Maag do great work, this isn’t one of their greatest though and the post rationalisation for the pictograms… hmm i’d have left that out, just a bit too ‘trying to be clever but not’

  • jelly gamat November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    i think this just waste the time
    jelly gamat gold g

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