My first design proposal for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

An emblem design competition for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with 104 entries was withdrawn, revealing only one identity work, and the event’s organizing committee has started the whole process again, from scratch. I believe that to make known publicly the content of this competition, whose entrants were limited to professional designers who had won at least two of several designated awards, would serve to provide valuable information both facilitating public understanding about graphic design and articulating the future development of the Olympic symbol. Therefore, availing myself of this opportunity, in which the copyright of my submitted work had been returned to me, I would like to publish my entry as authentically as possible, although part of this work had already been leaked from anonymous sources. In order to keep the scope of my publication within the borders of what belongs to me as the entrant, I will use a completely different form for the Olympic Rings and the TOKYO 2020 logo than those I used in my submission.

Read more... My proposal for the Olympics emblem symbolizes “pulsating earth”, “heartbeat” and “summit”. Two “stars” imply the sun and the moon or the celestial bodies as if seen afloat above an astronomical horizon while representing athletic competition transcending individuals and nations. The color red indicates the traditional Japanese color portraying dynamism and passion. My proposal for the Paralympics emblem represents “beaming joy”, “resonance” and “festivity”. It rests on the image of “flying celestial beings/nymphs” delivering joys hovering in the sky. I designed two of these emblems as a spherical globe without the shadow using a single color: red, which confers originality in terms of form. Both emblems are reproductions of original molds I created on my own.

Dealing with identity design, I am convinced that, in today’s design planning environment, it is absolutely essential to examine whether the identity can cope with various communication scenes. Particularly this time, I thought that the relationship between the two emblems was important. The submitted reference materials consisted of 14 images, which were carefully selected from a wide variety of considered work, including moving images, which I thought might make up an integral part of the identity design. As a designer, I participated sincerely in the initial competition. To my mind, an emblem design competition not only reaches the primary goal of deciding upon the design, but also is the first step in the process of building a design committee that can function properly within the Olympics Organizing Committee.

The call for entries has been reissued. Participation qualifications are now: entrant must be 18 years old or older and must present two images. The number of runners in this now “design marathon” will probably swell. I won’t know what kind of race it will be unless I actually participate, so I will collect myself and participate positively in this new race, contributing to the success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

I am authorized to use all photographs submitted as part of my proposal. The moving images, CG and music used for my proposal are all my original creations.


1. Emblems: Integrated Development:

The visual effect of parallel placement; The resonance between the two intensifies the festivity of the games.
Illustrations, left to right: banner, ticket, official document. The red mark and gold Olympic rings harmonize nicely, adding dignity.
As an addition to this basic plan, I would like to propose the possibility of golden Olympic rings as well. Close

2. Multi-dimensional graphics:

The emblems are designed as spheres. However, in representation, they have the power and clarity of the two-dimensional.
For video or interactive representations, I would basically like to avoid 3D shade and shadow imagery
and deploy fundamentally clear, bright graphic images.  Close

3. Emblems: Metamorphosis:

Stairs to the stadium: The emblem at the foot of the stairs will change with the point of view,
dynamically presenting the approach to the grand stage.
Emblem metamorphosis will be the cornerstone of the design application.  Close

4. Stadium image:

I imagined runners passing through the arch on their return to the stadium.
Visuals used in the stadium and arenas are designed to suggest a gigantic emblem
and effect a more emotional impression of the drama in the stadium, thanks to the contrast in scale between the visual and the athletes.
*The images used in this proposal have been legally licensed. Close

5. Development of costumes and products:

Clothing worn by those who lead athletes into the stadium or arena and officials will be treated with an emblem design.
Rather than simply reproducing each emblem as is, visual elements involving the red/white contrast,
gradation and a partially mottled pattern will be developed with flexibility on a variety of products. Close

6. On-screen development/Infographics:

Seating guidance and competition information will be displayed on mobile devices and outdoor screens via a comprehensive information system.
Visual design in semi-transparent environments such as display screens: When applied to pictograms, etc.,
the design rule of using red, clear edges and gradation ensures a natural harmony with the emblems. Close

7. Development in public spaces:

In airports and train stations, large permeable banners with symbolic still images are effective.
In environments in which digital signage has been installed, I’d like to develop video representation.
To take advantage of three-dimensionality, I would also like to study the installation of huge spherical emblems in public spaces. 

8. THE LOOK OF THE GAMES

When you frame an image from an event with a red curved edge, a distinctive visual is achieved.
An atmosphere unique to TOKYO 2020 is naturally created and instantly understood.
The emblems in white on a red background are also beautiful.
*The images used in this proposal have been legally licensed. 

9. The importance and dignity of tools:

Here the emblems are applied to tools like participation certificates and ID cards.
Even small tools require these sorts of measures to help participants feel proud and recognize the reality of their position on the world stage,
so it is advisable to carefully apply the emblems even to these miniature items.
*The images used in this proposal has been legally licensed. Close

10. Emblems metamorphosing into fireworks:

Supersized high-density fireworks are used for the finale of the opening and closing ceremonies. Fireworks design is made possible
by regulating the “star” stored in a firework with the support of pyrotechnicians. On these occasions, I’d like people from all over
the world to ponder the sophistication of Japan’s traditional fireworks techniques and experience the hospitality of our country once again. 

11. Development for novelty products:

Even a ball sporting the spherical emblem becomes a unique medium.
These are not meant to be competition balls at the Games but promotional communication tools.
Applications to familiar spherical objects like ice cream create effective PR that puts smiles on faces. Close

12. Development for aircraft and train cars:

With the cooperation of the airlines, this scene could appear through the windows of planes and airports around the world,
acting as a strong promotion of TOKYO 2020. I’d like to expect similar
development on Shinkansen and other train cars with the cooperation of JR-related companies. Close

13. Engagement with the rest of Japan:

It is expected that, taking advantage of the opportunity af forded by the Olympics,
infrastructure and other transportation mechanisms are appropriately upgraded
to take visitors from abroad deep into Japan, not just to Tokyo.
Deep association with these services would lead to great consequences.
*The images used in this proposal have been legally licensed. Close

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