idsgn (a design blog)

Race for the 2016 Olympics

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August 4 2009

Two months from now the International Olympic Committee will name the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics. If the decision were based solely on design, which candidate would win?


Chicago, USA
Designed by VSA Partners, this is Chicago’s second logo for its 2016 bid. The first (which featured an olympic torch with flames resembling Chicago’s skyline) violated Olympic rules which prohibit the use of the Olympic symbol, motto, flag, flame, torch, or medal. With the slogan “Let friendship shine,” the new logo uses a six-pointed Chicago star representing a compass pointing out in all directions of the world.

Madrid, Spain
Designed by 26-year-old Argentine Joaquín Malle, the logo was one of 2,700 submissions in a contest chosen by a public vote. Named “Corle,” the logo features a hand in the Olympic colors—which intends to represent unity among different cultures, people, and nationalities—along with silhouette of an ‘M’. The city’s bid slogan is “Hola everyone.”


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Designed by Ana Soter and selected by a special jury, the logo uses a stylized Sugarloaf Mountain in the shape of a heart to represent Brazil’s passion and enthusiasm for sports. With the slogan, “Live your passion,” Rio’s logo also features an exclamation point replacing the ‘1’ in ‘20!6’ symbolizing the excitement of the games.

Tokyo, Japan
Using the slogan “Uniting our worlds,” the logo ties the five Olympic colors in the form of a traditional Japanese knot. The knot, known as ‘musubi,’ has long been utilized in Japan to signify blessings during times of celebration. Tokyo’s logo was created by acclaimed designer Kenji Ekuan of GK Design Group (you'll recogonize his work if you've ever eaten sushi).


Bronze Medalists

These bids made it close, but were eliminated from the race in June 2008: Doha, Qatar; Baku, Azerbaijan; and Prague, Czech Republic. Since we are judging by identities, I believe these eliminations were spot on:


So, what logo do you want to see in 2016? Leave your vote (and reason) in the comments below. The host city will be announced October 2, 2009 at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen, Denmark.

UPDATE: Based on comments collected over the past week, Madrid stands out as the favorite (with 48% of the votes), ahead of Chicago (27%), Rio de Janeiro (19%) and Tokyo (6%). (August 13, 2009)

Filed under: branding

By Skylar Challand