Dezeen Magazine

Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers seek replacement logo through public competition

Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers have launched a public competition to source a replacement logo for Kenjiro Sano's controversial withdrawn design.

The competition was announced this week, after the organisers were forced to retract the original logo design amidst claims it resembled a pre-existing emblem for a Belgian theatre too closely.

Submissions will be accepted from 24 November to 7 December 2015, with the replacement logo to be announced in spring 2016.

No previous design experience or formal qualifications are required to enter, and the newly launched Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee – created to ensure "an open process for the selection of Games emblems that will have widespread appeal" – welcomes individual and group applications.

Guidelines for submission request that applicants "give full reign to their imagination and creativity".

They also include a list of key concepts for designers to consider, which include the power of sport, typifying Tokyo and/or Japan, world peace, exerting the utmost efforts and striving to achieve a personal best, inclusivity, innovation and futuristic, and regeneration.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo next to Theatre De Liege logo by Olivier Debie
Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo next to Theatre De Liege logo by Olivier Debie

"The Games emblems should seek to symbolise the fact that the 2020 Games are being held in Tokyo and Japan, and elicit empathy with people across the world," the organisers said in a statement.

"The designs should endeavour to have widespread appeal before, during and long after the 2020 Games are over."

The only criteria is that entrants be over 18 years old, and either Japanese nationals or foreign nationals with the right to live in Japan.

According to a statement released by the organisers, those under 18 are only allowed to contribute if they're in a group with at least one member above the required age.

Although the winning entry doesn't appear to have any financial compensation attached, the statement says the designer will receive an invitation to attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic games.

The logo hasn't been the only source of controversy for the Tokyo games so far, with Zaha Hadid's stadium design scrapped as result of spiralling costs.

The National Museum of Qatar has also turned to crowdsourcing for its new logo and branding, opening a competition to all Qatari nationals over the age of 18 to submit designs for its graphic identity.