Last week, the Tokyo Olympic committee chose the final design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic logo. I have been reading a lot about it and come to the decision that I have no power over what should be the best logo for the Olympics. As you may have read in the past, I mentioned the various venues of the Olympics, but that will change. I will try to update that as soon as things are officially finalized and announced. The logo is the only thing that I can comment on now, albeit a bit late.
When people see the logo, they see something that is boring, and rather uninspiring. For a sports logo, I do agree, but being the empathetic person that I try to be, I can see what the creator did. The general logo is a single indigo colour that is in the shape of a circle or globe. The regular Olympic logo is more of a general circle while the Paralympics has more of a globe shape.
— 鯵坂もっちょ (@motcho_tw) April 27, 2016
The worst comments say that it is boring and definitely not inspiring. The best ones say the opposite. Like any Olympic logo, this one is pretty divisive.
I was reading a Japan Times article where Takemi Kuresawa, and art critic, said that he cannot remember an Olympic logo where just a single colour was used. Unfortunately he was completely wrong. Torino Olympics had a very similar idea when they had a lighter shade of blue that was in the shape of a famous building in Turin, but stylized as ice crystals.
When I did more research I noticed Russia’s Winter Olympics was just simple text that was a single colour. Athens and Lillehammer also used single colours although the background was a solid blue and the main logo was white. Beijing had what looks like a hanko (stamp) which is solid red and a white drawing of a man. London is also pretty simple in colour as it is predominantly red-pink, with a yellow outline.
My only guess is that Takemi Kuresawa was talking without any preparation, but it was a comment that the Japan Times probably shouldn’t have run.
When I first saw the logo, I personally thought it was the weakest of the 4 finalists. I didn’t like any of the finalists but thought Asao Tokolo’s was the worst. I still think it is the least imaginative but at the same time the logo grows on me. Asao Tokolo has a degree in architecture and after reading that I can understand where he is coming from. I also read that he is a pattern maker rather than a graphic designer, which also helps to understand the logo.
When you look at the logo, you really have to put away your own personal opinions. You have to think about the underlying meaning. In the last couple of years, I have learned a little about being a designer and a marketing professional. The more I look at the logo, the more I feel that it is a great logo. I never liked Torino’s Olympic logo but it wasn’t a bad one either. I felt Vancouver’s Olympic Logo was terrible but I accepted it and grew to love it.
Asao Tokolo’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic Logo is a great logo but you really have to look at it deeply and have a very open mind. Look at the shapes that make the logo. Look at the general shape of both the Olympic and Paralympic logos. The Paralympic logo is very symmetrical where the Olympic logo is symmetrical in shape, yet it isn’t symmetrical when you look at it closely. If you have ever studied, or have an interest in, architecture, this logo should appeal to you. The simple shapes, the simple design, it is calling to those who have a general knowledge of shapes.
— SH100000 (@SH100000) April 25, 2016
I don’t know if this logo will be memorable or not. Vancouver will always be memorable for me because I understand the symbolism and I was there. Sochi will not as it is just as simple typeface that has no real meaning. Pyeongchang is a pretty terrible logo with a lot of significance. In all honesty, no one ever likes the Olympic Games logos but it does grow on people. Take it for what it is and just accept it. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic logo is not the best, but it is as good as it will get and it could be a lot worse. Look at the original 2020 Tokyo Olympic logo by Kenjiro Sano and tell me that this one isn’t safer.
- New Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo draws mixed reaction, fails to excite (Japan Times)
- Who is Asao Tokolo (Spoon & Tamago)
- Checkered pattern by artist Tokolo chosen as logo for 2020 Tokyo Olympics (Japan Times)
- Olympic Logos (Designer Daily)