Established in 1914, the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee (Comitetul Olimpic si Sportiv Român in Romanian and COSR for short) is the organization responsible for Romania’s participation in the Olympic Games as well as manage and assemble the country’s team. Earlier this month, the COSR introduced new institutional and team identities designed by Bucharest-based Brandient.
The new, proprietary symbol is a modern rendition which resembles both a flag (with the national colors of Romania) and a sports podium, where gold, silver and bronze medalists receive their awards. The full logo comprises of the proprietary tricolor podium, the word ROMANIA and the Olympic rings—all within a frame resembling a sports arena.
The first part of the project relates to the institutional identity for the organization that has to abide by certain International Olympic Committee standards and be much less showcase-y than the identity for the team. The old logo was far from interesting, with a giant flag waving over the country’s name typeset inside a rectangle with the least even spacing around the four sides. The new logo, amazingly keeps nearly the exact same elements — flag, name, rings, stroked rectangle — but has a much better size relationship of all its elements and a much more interesting, abstract representation of its flag. Gotham seems like an odd, very-American choice but it’s a typeface that always works and never disappoints. Overall, this logo is nice, clean, and looks very serious.
The second manifestation of the identity is the Team Romania symbol, devised to express national beauty, joy, pride, playfulness, friendship and the celebratory emotion of victory. It consists of a capital “R”, intertwined with the letter “O” created by stylized Romanian traditional stitching symbols in the three national colors, in a visual interpretation of a Romanian folk motif, the “hora” dance. The words “Team Romania” make up the vertical leg of the “R”. This identity is to be used mainly on the materials and equipment of the Romanian teams at various Olympic competitions, as well as in communication and marketing materials. Various applications will play on the alternation of the three national colors.
The second part is the much more expressive logo for Team Romania, which has more freedom from IOC standards. The structure of the logo can be best appreciated in the small rendition shown above, left. The “R” shape is very odd and when “Team Romania” is used as its stem the “R” and its rendered in the stitched motif it loses readability, but I can roll with it for its inventiveness.
I like better both the smaller size version of the logo and how the solid “R” interacts with the decorative “O” — when the logo is used big, as is the case in most applications above, the logo becomes too much of a pixel illustration. But, again, there is something very cool about the unexpected shapes and the energy they convey on the layouts. The secondary typeface chosen makes all the applications look like ads for a telecommunications company or an airline and clashes heavily with Gotham. Given how thoughtful Brandient was about the logo, the type choice stands out in bad way. Overall, though, this makes for a compelling team identity and the apparel is very wearable for the country’s fans.