In Tokyo Monday a final set of Emblems has been unveiled to represent the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
After an intensive public submission process and a shortlist of four finalists, the “Harmonized Chequered Emblems” concept was selected as the winner. The solid indigo blue design is said to have been selected because it “exemplifies Japan and the city of Tokyo, and for its representation of the spirit of the Tokyo 2020 Vision.”
This is the second official logo launch for Tokyo 2020 after the initial logo was withdrawn because it fell under litigation for alleged copyright infringement.
“The design represents different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. It incorporates the message of “Unity in Diversity.” It also conveys the fact that the Olympic and Paralympic Games seek to promote diversity as a platform to connect the world.” – Tokyo 2020
The emblems were chosen by an Emblems Selection Committee from among 14,599 total submissions and after 39,712 members of the public weighed in with opinions online and an additional 1,804 sent in postcards.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission Chair John Coates said “I congratulate the Tokyo 2020 team for the inclusive process that led to this selection. The public engagement in the selection process is another sign of growing interest in the 2020 Games.”
This selection of the logo, for the first time in Olympic history, was made after an open competition.
“Interest and excitement will continue to build, in Japan and globally, after the official handoff to Tokyo 2020 at the close of the upcoming Olympic Games Rio 2016. The Tokyo 2020 emblem will become a familiar symbol to people around the world.”
Chequered patterns have been popular in many countries around the world throughout history. In Japan, the chequered pattern became formally known as “ichimatsu moyo” in the Edo period (1603–1867).
The winning design was submitted by Asao Tokolo who was born in Tokyo in 1969. He graduated in Architecture from Tokyo Zokei University, and is currently active as an artist. His works have been featured in several exhibitions in Japan.
A GamesBids.com online poll revealed only 25 per cent of readers preferred the chosen “Harmonized Chequered Emblems” (A), putting it third among the four finalists. 37 per cent supported the “Connecting Circle, Expanding Harmony” (B) concept and 31 per cent like the “Flowering of Emotions” (D) design. Only seven per cent said they would choose “Surpassing One’s Personal Best.” (C)
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games logo will make its first major appearance at the Olympic flag handover ceremony during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games closing ceremony in August. From then it will appear at venues, on banners, on clothing and on millions of souvenirs.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said, “It is my most earnest wish that the winning emblems, which have been selected from among almost 15,000 design entries, will receive wide acclaim as the symbols of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.