Tokyo finds harmony


Following the plagiarism saga that forced out Kenjiro Sano’s original Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo, a fresh design has been unveiled. Designed by Asao Tokolo, the Harmonized Chequered Emblem was chosen on Monday from a shortlist of four. The new design, according to Tokyo 2020 committee ‘expresses a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan’ and ‘incorporates the message of unity in diversity’.

As you’d expect, a newly released logo design of this prominence will find it difficult to avoid critique and comments from the design community. The reaction so far has been fairly mixed. As we learned from London 2012’s notoriously ‘ugly’ logo release in 2007, it’s unfair to come to a conclusion on the identity without seeing the wider system – which is arguably the reason London’s brand triumphed in the end.

MB Design Director Simon Chong shared his first reaction, “Japan has such an amazing cultural heritage to draw on, and even a subculture of otherness – to distill both down to an amalgamation of geometric shapes seems a missed trick”. Designer Daniel Green continues, “I think it’s super interesting. The main Olympics version isn’t even symmetrical… I think it’s awkward and clunky and great, if I’m honest… I’m really excited to see how it comes to life, and hearing more about the story behind it”.

This originally appeared in Moving Brands Wednesday 20160427.

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