Introducing the official font of the 2016 Olympics

Although the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are still years away, the official typeface for the event has already been designed and unveiled.

Rio 2016 is a fluid and graceful script, inspired by the movements of past Olympians, which brings to life the ideas of “Passion and Transformation” that are so vital to the Olympic ideals.

With Rio 2016, the Brazilian office of Dalton Maag designed a typeface that is entirely unique to the Olympics and, more importantly, to Brazil itself. Each letter is fashioned either after Olympic athletes and their movements, or certain aspects of Brazil’s geography. The letter “R”, as an example, represents the granite outcropping Pedra de Gávea which overlooks Rio from the Tijuca Forest. The characters were drawn in fast, fluid motions, in an effort to replicate sporting motion.

‘Harmonious Diversity’ is seen in the curves, as each one has a unique shape, but they work together as an integrated and unified set. The ‘Olympic Spirit’ and the ‘Paralympic Spirit’ are reflected in the fluidity of the lines, simulating the agility of the athletes’ movements. ‘Contagious Energy’ is also present in the character set, in the different height of the letters, and in the bold connections. ‘Exuberant Nature’ is present in the letters’ overall design, and finally, ‘True Engagement’ is present in the creation process, which included the participation and involvement of several different teams of people. (From the Rio 2016 website)

Rio 2016 is one of only a few fonts created entirely by a Brazilian team, resulting in a typeface that expresses the particular warmth and joyousness that embody the nature of the Brazilian people. We’re genuinely impressed with the results and look forward to seeing it in action leading up to the 2016 Olympics.


What do you think of the Rio 2016 font? How does it compare to previous Olympic Games brands? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

  • Geoffrey Gordon

    It is super smooth, I like it. Your link to Dalton Maag is dead though

    • Benjie — WebdesignerDepot

      Could you try again? It works for me.

  • Lisa

    Difficult to read! Which is any case makes a Font useless!

    • Snarky Bastard

      Your grammar is difficult to read.

  • jackta101

    Who’s idea was it to create a lower-case ‘n’ that looks like an ‘m’ and a lower-case ‘m’ that looks like ‘mn’. I seriously struggled to work out “inspiration”, “harmony” and “energy” in short clip. Sorry but needing 15-20 seconds to work out what a word is means it’s failed as a font. Especially one that will be used on advertising that should be easily identifyable and quick to read.

    • loodster

      You code, right? Open your mind sometimes…

      • jackta101

        Actually I’m a graphic and print designer.

    • Natália Rampon

      I didn’t find it hard to read in the least. But maybe that’s because I’m used to the words in both languages, since I speak Portuguese… And it’s not like they’re gonna to be used in a huge text, right? Maybe a more ‘fussy’ font is good for a small sentence ad, like in which this is probably gonna be used at.

      • jackta101

        It’s going to be used on many different types of branding, so it is likely it will be used in a large display as well as small text. It certainly wont work for more than two or three words in a block as it will become overpowering and very difficult to read.

    • Benjie — WebdesignerDepot

      Not ideal perhaps, but the number of arches isn’t really relevant to legibility, word shape is more important.

      I realised some time ago that I’d somehow evolved a third arch in the ‘M’ of my surname when signing something, I have no idea how long I’d been doing that for. But it’s still roughly the same shape.

      • jackta101

        Word shape is indeed important. And this doesn’t conform to expected work shapes. The words are too long and appear to have too many characters and break the rule of the word, hence the difficulty in reading the words. ‘Not ideal’ implies there is enough of a problem that reading something at a glance is going to be difficult to a good portion of people.

        Extra shapes in signatures are totally different to a font designed to convey a message easily and quickly.

    • Rakel

      Didn’t you learn how to write cursive in the 3rd grade? That’s how you’re supposed to write it. Cursive is going to the wayside these days, and for that reason I think that it’s not as legible as it could be, but it *is* technically correct.

      • jackta101

        Actually I was taught two different types of cursive writing as a child and still use one today. But they are designed with definition for each letter to improve legibility. This is how poorly formed cursive looks.

    • Rob

      Really? I didn’t have any problems reading the ‘m’ and the ‘n’, aren’t they supposed to look like that when handwritten? i write them like that at least.

  • Benjie — WebdesignerDepot

    “It’s a font”

    Some people like fonts :)

  • Rakel

    I love it! But the m & n is a little hard to read. I get that it’s mimicking how to write the letters in cursive but that’s a bit of a thing of the past now. But I really love it anyway.

  • Tim

    It’s a nice looking font.

    “inspired by the movements of past Olympians” … I don’t know about this, though. Is that just because it’s a script font? Doesn’t really make sense.

  • Rob

    Hehe, I have to agree with you, it’s a bit over the top.

  • Norce Fays

    this are amazing :)

  • Thurstan Hethorn

    Witness a font-o-phile:

    Helvetica the Movie:‎

    And just for fun characterisation of fonts. Proving we think of font as something more then just writing; they have character and set a tone.‎

  • Jorge

    It looks nice. Can it be downloaded from anywhere?