Tokyo 2020 Debuts Chequered Emblems for the Olympics

Tokyo 2020 John Coates

The new logos are immediate substitutes for the original Tokyo 2020 design which was pulled due to allegations of plagiarism.

Tokyo 2020 has released the new official logos of the Olympic and Paralympic Games slated for the same year. Dubbed the ‘Harmonised Chequered Emblems’, the revised insignia is an immediate substitute for the original design which was pulled due to allegations of plagiarism.

Highly acclaimed by the public and a dedicated Selection Committee for exemplifying Japan alongside its capital city, the amended markers are a representation of the organisers’ vision. While popular worldwide, the chequered pattern became known as ‘ichimatsu moyo’ in Japan during the Edo period from 1603 to 1867.

“From today, these emblems will serve as the face of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I very much hope that they will prove popular with people everywhere, and we look forward to your continued support towards the Games,” said Ryohei Miyata, Chair of the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee.

In traditional indigo blue, the replacement logos supposedly capture the refined elegance and sophistication of said country. Composed of three varieties of rectangular shapes to incorporate the message of ‘Unity in Diversity’, the design represents different countries, cultures, and ways of thinking.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics' Harmonised Chequered Emblems.
                                                  Tokyo 2020 Olympics’ Harmonised Chequered Emblems.

They also relay the understanding that the aforementioned games seek to promote multiplicity as a platform to connect the world. For the first time in Olympic history, the designs were selected following an open competition, a movement which has garnered major buzz over the past seven months.

Out of 14,599 entries received in total from across the globe, four were shortlisted. Prior to obtaining the final approval of the Executive Board, the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee selected the submission by designer, Asao Tokolo, as the contest’s winning entry.

Before making the decision and following the unveiling of the four, the committee received opinions expressed online by 39,712 members of the public and 1,804 postcards. Tokolo along with the three runners-up, namely Kozue Kuno, Takaaki Goto, and Chie Fujii, received an award at a formal Tokyo-held ceremony.

During the summer of 2015, the initial delivery by art director, Kenjiro Sano, was recalled following claims by Olivier Debie, a Belgian artist, that the design resembled his work for the Theatre de Liege. The accusation was denied by the art director against whom the complaint was made.

“The public engagement in the selection process is another sign of growing interest in the Tokyo 2020 Games. Excitement will continue to build globally, after the official handoff at the close of the upcoming Olympic Games Rio 2016,” said John Coates (pictured), IOC VP and Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020.