This weekend’s closing ceremony will offer us a chance to compare the identities for the two events, as the Rio 2016 identity is paraded in the London 2012 stadium as part of the handover.
This week we talked to Fred Gelli, creative director of Brazilian consultancy Tátil, which created the 2016 identity.
While noting how difficult it is to compare two different logos with different briefings and for different cities, he points out that the London 2012 identity, to his mind, fits in well with Britain’s reputation for cutting-edge cultural breakthroughs.
And, he says, ‘Perhaps when you have an icon that is representing a cutting-edge and breakthrough culture then the rationale is more important and necessary than when you have an icon that is representing a culture that is very open and warm.’
Its certainly fair to say that the Rio identity – whatever you think of it aesthetically – seems to scream ‘Rio’.
It also seems, unlike London 2012, to fit much more neatly into the design narrative of recent Olympics logos – and the design rationale is clear and engaging.
But maybe what we had with London was something more challenging and more valuable, an identity that was a breakthrough and that summed up some of the things about London that we can be proud of (its youth, its energy, its innovative spirit) and some of the things were less proud of (its messiness, its brashness, the fact that – sometimes – it just doesn’t work).
Maybe with 2012, without really realising it, we had a logo that represents London in all its messy, dysfunctional, energetic and loud glory. And maybe that is how it will be remembered.