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Inspired by Rio – the design themes you should know about this summer

August 17, 2016 |

Inspired by Rio - the design themes you should know about

With all eyes on Rio for the 2016 Olympics, it’s not hard to see its influence on more than just the sporting world.

The vibrant South American culture is permeating design left, right and centre; from architecture to advertising, fashion to interior design.

We therefore asked our very own design team to give us their take on the three biggest design themes we’ll be seeing this summer and beyond.

1) Unity, fluidity and optimism

“We share our sky, our ocean and our happiness with the world.”

Tátil, Rio

Tátil, the Rio-based agency responsible for creating the Rio 2016 official logo and branding wanted to replicate the local Carioca nature – expressing their unity, optimism, passion and carefree attitude to living and engaging with others.

Translate this to design and you get fluid lines interlocking into infinity. Soft curves that that show strength in their unbroken shape.

It’s therefore unsurprising that free-flow curves are inspiring beautiful powerful architecture around the world, especially bridges, where their obvious purpose is connection. Much of the style of the curvaceous modern architecture we see today can be found in Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s original work.

Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói designed by Oscar Niemeyer

“I am a big fan of Oscar Niemeyer, I love the free flowing forms of the Brazilian Modernist style. The colourful pathways of the Olympic village mirror his wonderful snaking walkway at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói. Graphically and architecturally, I can see us integrating these influences into stand designs in the future…”

Lewis Field, Head Designer, Nimlok

2) The ‘green philosophy’

When the Rio 2016 logo was unveiled, the keen eyed of us out there spotted the shape of the Brazilian mountains within the curves of the logo.

Sugar loaf mountains of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“Rio’s stunning scenery creates an amazing backdrop against the newly built venues, emphasising the importance of natural environments around us”

Liam Halsey, design technician, NimlokExhibition stand design - the 'living wall' feature

The ‘green philosophy’ of the Rio Olympics can not only be seen through the references to the stunning surroundings of Brazil and the theme of the opening ceremony, but also through its responsible attitude to the environment.

Venues such as the National centre for shooting are being reused from the 2007 Pan American Games, while the handball arena will be dismantled and rebuilt as four schools after the games.

“We’re bringing more natural features and textures into stand design, as demonstrated by our ‘living wall’ feature.”

Liam Halsey, design technician, Nimlok


3) Carnival colours

“The Rio 2016 colour scheme reflects the vibrant Rio environment and the environmental message of the Rio Olympics”

Miguel Moreno Young, Graphic designer, Nimlok

The core colours; the yellow of the sun, the blue of the sea and sky, and the green of the forests have come together to make up the key colour palette of the Rio 2016 branding. These colours also represent the country’s national flag.

Brazilian flag

Beyond Brazil’s three national colours, the vivid rainforest flowers and the vivacious colour and attitude of Brazilian carnivals are inspiring vibrant print and patterns.

Exotic floral print

The infamous street artist Eduardo Kobra is using colour to transform the concrete landscape around him by utilising bright tones and bold patterns, bringing the Rio spirit to even the most subdued street.

Graffiti style street art

“We’ve been inspired by the vibrant Rio street art and the impact it has on lifting a space’s atmosphere. So much so that we now use street art prints to showcase our samples in our new Materials Hub”

Melanie Wills, Marketing manager, Nimlok

Want to see more? Head over to our Pinterest board dedicated to design inspired by Rio 2016.


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Inspired by Rio – the design themes you should know about

August 16, 2016 |

Inspired by Rio - the design themes you should know about

Title image. Inspired by Rio – the design themes you should know about

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