Exactly five years ahead of the Olympic Games opening ceremony, on Friday Tokyo 2020 held a splashy event at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Plaza to present the official emblems of the Games.
The new Olympic logo is composed of an abstract ‘T’ including an element of Japan’s “rising sun” in black, grey, gold and red. The individual elements of the logo were also used in a video animation describing the theme. The Paralympic logo is similar but with the black and white background inverted.
When the world comes together for Tokyo 2020, we will experience the joy of uniting as one team. By accepting everyone in the world as equals, we will learn the full meaning of coming together as one.
The Tokyo 2020 emblems were created to symbolise the power of this unity.
The black colour of the central column represents diversity, the combination of all colours. The shape of the circle represents an inclusive world in which everyone accepts each other. The red of the circle represents the power of every beating heart.
These elements combine to create the emblems of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic emblem is inspired by the T in
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic emblem is inspired by = the universal sign of equality.
– Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee
“The Tokyo 2020 Games emblems are a wonderful work of art that represent the aspirations and the ultimate goal that athletes around the world aim to achieve – taking part in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo 2020 President Mori said.
“The emblems are also symbols behind which the whole of Japan can unite as a single integrated body and join the collective endeavours of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the national government, the Japanese Olympic Committee, the Japanese Paralympic Committee, the Japanese business community, as well as the Games volunteers and everyone who is assisting with the preparations for the 2020 Games.”
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission Chair John Coates said, “The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games emblem is a powerful symbol of Tokyo’s Games vision. By embracing the concept of unity in diversity, it shows the unique ability of the Olympic Games to bring together people from all over the world in peace and harmony.”
“Its inclusiveness and its representation of the power of the human heart is testament to the spirit in which the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are being prepared.
“Most importantly, this emblem represents Tokyo and its people. It reflects the vibrant nature of the city and the welcoming spirit of its citizens – two elements that the Olympic athletes in 2020 will fully appreciate.”
“I congratulate the Tokyo 2020 team on their work and believe that this emblem will have an important influence on the future of Olympic design.”
The emblems were designed by Kenjiro Sano who was born in Tokyo in 1972. Sano is an art designer, who graduated from the Department of Graphic Design at Tama Art University.
The emblem reveal is a major milestone for many Olympic Games as it helps set the stage for the public face of the bid, and helps influence many future elements including the “look” and visual design of the marketing materials and build-out of the events, the style of the mascot and the design of the torch. For months, it will become one of the most recognizable images in the world.
The emblem will also appear on millions of souvenirs to be sold from pins to clothing and limited edition Coca Cola bottles to coins.
Early comments about the new emblems are mixed on the GamesBids.com Forums where such intricate details of the Olympic Games are debated at length. While some readers are uncomfortable with the font, others enjoy the fresh palette of colours that shift away from the typical five Games colours that are represented in the Olympic rings – and instead give a nod to Japanese culture.
The new emblem replaces the bid logo that portrayed an arrangement of cherry blossoms, the most celebrated flower of Japan. The floral motif “expresses the feelings of deep gratitude inherent in Japan’s sending of cherry blossom trees to all parts of the world”, according to the bid.
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.