With the XXXI Olympic Games and the Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro on the way, we take a look at the official logo that will be present at the venues, stadiums, and of course all over the world. The twist: For the first time the emblem is printed in 3 dimensions. Designer Frederico Gelli explains why.

“I thought it would be impossible”, remembers the creative director of the Brazilian agency Tátil Design. Without any feedback, the Olympic committee asked for an almost print-ready design concept when they first approached Gelli. A two month long brain storming process held by Tátil followed in which ideas and thoughts were collected. The result: A logo that represents Brazil’s vibrant culture, energy, and joyfulness.

The idea for the final layout came when Gelli was swimming at world famous Ipanema Beach. “I took a dive and when I came up, I saw the the hills and mountains around Rio de Janeiro. This city is in the middle of a sculpture garden, not only by Sugarloaf Mountain, but all of the mountains that surround Rio”, remembers Gelli. A perfect setting for the logo. The form factor additionally shows people reaching out to each other – a sign for the hospitality of Brazil.

Why 3D printing?

To bring these ideas to life, the art director had to think in 3 dimensions, not just 2. That’s why even in early sketches the logo can be seen as a 3D model. Therefore Tátil worked on two separate projects: A graphic presentation in 2D and a 3D model to discover new applications for the form. Besides being able to express the diversity of Brazil’s second biggest city, Tátil came up with 12 topics that had to be presented in the logo. The dimensions were not only of technical nature but also of emotional. “Our logo had to have an effect on people”, states Frederico Gerri. A logo one can experience, a logo to be immersed in, a sculptural logo for a sculptural city.

With regard to the Paralympics the logo also achieves another goal: Visually impaired athletes and fans can experience the Olympic logo by touching it. The multisensory 3D logo is printed with state of the art 3D printers for every athlete to take back home after the games are over.

“We are excited that we managed to combine so many things into on single logo. Whenever we showed it to new people, we got different feedback. It truly is a logo to inspire and to feel. With all your senses”, says Gerri.

What do you think of the 3D printed Olympic logo for Rio 2016? In what regards can the 3D printing industry help visualize complex ideas? Let us know by leaving a comment below!