The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Logo Unveils To Mixed Reviews

by . July 29th, 2015

Last Friday, organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics unveiled the official logo of the games, exactly five years before it will be held.

But it opened to mixed reviews.


 Dat animation though

The logo was designed by Kenjiro Sano, a graphic designer from Tokyo, who responded to the committee’s open call submission along with 103 others.

The logo uses a modified “T” with a black stem and gold and silver serifs. It also incorporates the Japanese flag’s red sun.

“The black color 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.”

According to the committee’s introduction video, the “T” stands for “team”, “tomorrow”, and of course the host city, “Tokyo”.

“In 2020, the world will experience the joy of uniting as one team. We will discover a better future where everyone accepts each other. This emblem symbolises (sic) the power of this unity.”



In addition to Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, the committee also unveiled the accompanying Paralympic Games logo.

The emblem utilizes two towering blocks using the same color scheme and also incorporates the red sun. It was inspired by = which is “the symbol of equality” and “represents the same ideals”.

Bland and Unimaginative

The logo was received with mixed reviews by netizens, with some posting on social media sites that the logo was “bland and unimaginative”.

In Tokyo Committee’s defense, Olympic logos aren’t really that “timeless”, something graphic designers attribute to an ideal logo.

To compare, here are the logos of the past Olympic games including Tokyo’s former 1964 logo.



Most of the past logos of the Olympics are variations of the five rings, the torch, or the sprinting man. Tokyo’s 1964 logo opted for a gradient red sun with a simple “Tokyo 1964” text below.

I do appreciate Tokyo’s departure from recent trends as well as the usual elements of Olympic logos. This might just be the return of serifs.

For me, it looks like a logo of a luxury brand, corporate and inoffensive, with clean and sharp edges. The Japanese stereotype sararīman (salary man) comes to mind. It doesn’t really speak “athletic” to me.


I prefer the Tokyo 2020 Candidate City logo, with its wreath of sakura buds and blossoms, a clear representation of Japan, a throwback to their earlier 1964 logo, and an even longer throwback to the olive wreath or kotinos, the prize for the winners of the ancient Olympic games.

Or they could have gone with Akira’s logo! Heh.


The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be held from 24 July – 9 August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

What do you think of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo? Comment below!


Kevin is a reader first, a writer second, and a gamer somewhere in between. When not rooting for Tyrion Lannister for the Iron Throne, he's probably writing some morbid short story. He enjoys some surreal art, clever advertising campaigns, and a warm cup of coffee while reading Murakami.