Dezeen Magazine

Expo 2025 Osaka logo by Tamotsu Shimada

Expo 2025 Osaka logo revealed as ring of red blobs

Graphic designer Tamotsu Shimada has unveiled the logo for the Expo 2025 Osaka, which is an irregular ring of red circles that appears to include five cartoon-like eyes.

Shimada's winning logo, called Inochi no Kagayaki-kun, is a rough outline of the Japnese city of Osaka's shape, realised in a circle of red blobs. Five of the circles have been filled with white and blue to give the appearance of blue googly cartoon eyes.

The logo will be used at the World Expo, a global exposition that happens every five years, which is due to take place in the Japanese city of Osaka from April to October in 2025.

Logo represents chain of DNA

Shimada explained at a press conference for the logo that the circles represent living cells or a chain of DNA to represent "the brilliance of life". The theme for Expo 2025 Osaka is Designing Future Society for Our Lives.

The five cartoon eyes are a callback to the Expo 1970 Osaka logo, which was a stylised cherry blossom with five petals defined by circular cutouts.

The concept for living cells and eyes is also a reference to Japanese artist Tarō Okamoto's sculpture for the 1970 expo. Called Tower of the Sun, the 70-metre-high sculpture has three faces and its interior is decorated with a mural about evolution.

Logo turned into cartoon on social media

After the logo was unveiled, social media users in Japan delighted in creating memes and fanart for Shimada's oddball design and sharing them on Twitter.

The logo was turned into a video game opponent, depicted as a terrifying mutant grown in a laboratory, shown as a cute creature being petted like a puppy and drawn as a cartoon schoolgirl's talking scrunchie.

Several people even recreated Inochi no Kagayaki-kun in food, using cherry tomatoes for the blobs in a salad or making the logo out of bread.

Shimada's design was chosen from 5,894 competition entries, with the winning entry selected by a committee, taking into account opinions from the general public.

Yumeshima, where the 2025 expo will be held, is an angular 390-hectare island of reclaimed land being built from local construction waste in Osaka Bay. The name translates to Dream Island and eventually, the area will be home to a large casino resort.

Expo 2020 Dubai has had to be pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event will feature a pavilion designed by Santiago Calatrava, and although pictures of the completed site have yet to be released there are images of the monumental entry portals made from latticed carbon fibre by Asif Khan.