Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid Already Getting Bad Press for Logo Ripoff

From the Land of Stolen Sun? What do you think?

It’s only been a couple of days since Tokyo 2020 revealed its logo for the Olympic Committee’s campaign to bring the quadrennial event back to Japan, but the news can’t get enough of the announcement.

The problem for Tokyo 2020 is the global interest is not about the people wrangling interest in the IOC bid but rather, the logo itself.

You see, it bears a striking resemblance to another design—-one that has been making headlines worldwide. Come to think of it, “striking” may not be accurate. More like “stolen”?

tokyo logo


The logo on the right is the aforementioned Tokyo bid for the first Olympiad of the next roaring ’20s. On the left is the handiwork of Belgian designer Olivier Debie and Théâtre de Liège.

Ever since Debie announced the similarity on Twitter, followed by a convenient question mark in the form of a fantastic GIF (seen below), the world of design, PR and sports have all been asking the same question.

The Tokyo 2020 logo, designed—-now “designed”—-by Kenjiro Sano, advises his muse included “black for diversity and a red circle that echoes the Japanese flag” around “a loose representation of the letter T.”

According to the Guardian, many sources have been questioning the Japanese committee and getting much ado about nothing:

Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, however, insisted that the design underwent thorough checks before being unveiled. “Prior to the selection of this design, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee conducted long, extensive and international verification through a transparent process,” they said in a statement.

Appears some of those checks are bouncing and folks are clamoring “Tõsaku!” (Well, technically, it’s 盗作, but all of that means “plagiarism” in Japanese. Thanks Google Translate.)

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