An honest reaction to the debacle of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo.

The Japanese Olympic Committee recently unveiled their logo for the 2020 Olympic Games. Par for the course one would expect, but not so. This was their second go at unveiling a logo for the games (they had their first attempt in 2016.)

In a fantastic demonstration of plagiarism or an enormous lack of due diligence, the new Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo had to be withdrawn.

It seems that the Tokyo Olympic committee took inspiration (or just took) from an existing identity of a theatre in Liege, Belgium – see for yourself, the design parallels are screamingly obvious.

But it doesn’t stop there. The lock-up seems busy and ill conceived, simply stacking all the information vertically. However, I will say that I do like the choice of typeface in the Olympic logo.

Regardless of my personal opinions and thoughts, this is a terribly embarrassing scenario for both the IOC and the Japanese. This high profile (and high ticket price) project deserves better. So, for all intents and purposes ‘borrowing’ the theatre logo, chucking in a red circle, presumably to represent Japan’s national flag, is all in poor taste. 

It’d be interesting to know if the responsible agency were given a chance to fix this (presumably for free), however I imagine that the project was awarded elsewhere, presumably to a team who have access to the Google machine to do a little cursory research…and fingers that are not quite as sticky!

It’s nice to see the new design…although somewhat uninspiring…and feels like it came from an online competition. But I am sure there is a stout brand strategy around this execution, with some equally flowery rationale, involving traditional Japanese fans, supporting this. 

Incidentally, I can’t get past the Paralympics variation looking like the wheel of a wheelchair. Talk about inclusive.