Indian Olympic Association presents a new unifying identity designed by home-grown branding agency, Smitten Designs.
The IOA has adopted a new logo and brand identity to mark the milestone of a 100 years of Indian participation at the Olympics, to be used by athletes while competing on the world arena, as well as in all official events and ceremonies at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and other international sporting events.
The new identity was designed and developed by Smitten, an international design and communications firm, founded in India.
Introducing Team India
For the very first time, the identity also includes a logo specially designed for Team India to be used in international sporting events.
“We like to promote athletes from all walks of life so when it came to IOA's rebranding exercise, we decided to entrust a homegrown design studio with the task”, says Mr. Rajeev Mehta, Secretary General of the IOA.
The previous logo of the IOA was based on the pre-Independence Star of India emblem. This redesign, therefore, was an opportunity to create a contemporary logo that would resonate with Indians and the diaspora across the globe.
The Indian flag’s tricolour has been integrated into the word INDIA, in a clean, clear, no-fuss aesthetic that can stand the test of time while representing a new emergent India in the sporting world.
Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, President, IOA says, "What I particularly like about the Indian Olympic Association's new identity is the story behind the logo. It captures the essence of the tiranga and tells a powerful story from many angles appealing to all audiences we would like to reach out to in India and beyond, athletes and viewers.”
“The most recognized and celebrated moment of national identity on sports fields and arenas is the athlete carrying their country’s flag unfurled, as they take a lap at the start and end of a game. The tricolour which has been built vertically into the typography of “INDIA” was also inspired by the way the tiranga is suspended on streamers during national festivals and holidays, often in sports arenas and stadiums”, says Smita Rajgopal Poliak, Founder & Global Creative Director. “The tricolour stripes that have been built into the type also allow for extendability to digital animations by forming a sports podium, race track and field. This was important as the track and field, also known as the athletics program, traces back to Olympic events in ancient Greece”, she adds.
"The negative space between the I and N represents 1 (one), which merges perfectly with the themes of unity and team. We reinforced the message further with the anthem Ek India Team India which can be seamlessly extended to digital platforms in the form of a unique hashtag that would rally the country behind the team”, says Neethi Nair, Director: Creative and Marketing, India at Smitten.
“To a global audience, the first identifier we would want as a country especially in an international sports arena is our flag and its tricolour. This was an opportunity for us to clearly associate our country with our national colours and reinforce our common identity”, says Rajgopal.
“It’s a chance to celebrate Team India with the tricolour that every Indian knows and loves, while translating it across designs for various brand extensions”, explains Sruthi Prabhakar, Art Director, India at Smitten
Dr. Batra says, “I liked Smitten's conceptual thinking about design and their contemporary aesthetics while taking into account the feedback. The new identity that they have helped us create is one which will carry well for years to come."
"After reviewing Smitten’s portfolio, we were confident that they would do a great job. But when we were presented with the logo and accompanying tagline options by Smita and Neethi, they far exceeded our expectations. Smitten's research processes to narrow down on the route the new identity could take and then translating that into a contemporary design that captures the true spirit of the country was something that really stood out to us," says Mr. Rajeev Mehta, Secretary General, IOA.