Pan Am Games Get A Blobby, Klumpy, Blumpy Logo
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Pan Am Games Get A Blobby, Klumpy, Blumpy Logo

The Pan American Games’ logo.

Get ready to see that design everywhere: it’s the logo for the 2015 Pan American Games, unveiled Wednesday morning. The press release accompanying that unveiling describes it as a “vibrant, curved design…inspired by the figurative styles of pre-Columbian aboriginal art forms throughout the Pan Americas. It also draws on ancient sport traditions—specifically the Mezzo-Americans [sic] (including Aztec and Mayan cultures), which are linked to the first use of rubber balls in sport as early as 1600 BC.” Noted.

It’s hard to see how the logo will translate to the real, non-digital world—how do you put a bunch of blobs on a banner, say, or a flag?—and it looks a little like London’s 2012 Olympic logo if that logo was jumbled up and its edges were sanded down. The text chosen for “Pan Am / Toronto / 2015” feels like an afterthought, and a poor fit with the design alongside it.

The Parapan American Games’ logo.

But there is something fun and playful about it, and its Parapan American Games iteration (above). There’s the way the “T” and “O” become a person and a ball, and the way the perspective on the ball makes it feel closer to 3-D than 2. (You can view it larger here.) It manages to feel active, which is a good characteristic for the logo of a thing that’ll bring more than ten thousand athletes here. The question is whether it’ll still feel that way five years from now.
Logos courtesy of the Toronto2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.