While people awaited the descension of the beautiful Waterford Crystal ball in Times Square this New Year's Eve, another unveiling of sorts took place. The emblem for the 2016 Rio Olympics was presented for the first time to the public, and immediately brought controversy.
Rio-based Design firm, Tátil, says that their logo "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."
Despite the restrictions imposed by the London organizers, Tátil presents an online case study where they walk through their strategy, reveal sketches and mood boards, and discuss the challenge they embraced.
However, articles have surfaced all over the web debating accusations of plagiarism. A story in the Washington post, following up on Brazilian media reports, discussed the similarity of the Rio 2016 logo to a logo done for the Telluride Foundation, a US non-profit. Tátil's Fred Gelli tossed any likeness up to coincidence and noted that the broad concept of people embracing each other is not novel.