What designers think of the 2020 Olympics logo

The official logo for the 2020 Summer Games

The official logo for the 2020 Summer Games

We haven't yet had the 2016 Olympics. But already preparations are underway for the next Games after that, to be held in Japan in 2020. And this week Tokyo launched the event's official logo design, in both static and animated form.

Designed by Kenjiro Sano, the black central colour is said to represent diversity, being "the combination of all the colours". The shape of the circle represents "an inclusive world in which everybody accepts each other". And the red of the circle represents "the power of every beating heart of Japan", as seen on the Japanese flag.

The logo is immediately striking for its abstract and minimal design, particularly when compared with the brighter and more colourful Rio 2016 logo, perhaps reflecting the difference in cultural outlook between the two countries.

The shapes form a 'T' for Tokyo, and some have suggested you can see a '20' in there if you can squint. But while it's also possible to perceive an 'L', it's unlikely it was intended: there's certainly no mention of it in the accompanying press release.

The official 2020 Paralympics logo

The official 2020 Paralympics logo

The 2020 Paralympics logo has also been released, as shown above. It's an inverted variation of the Olympics' logo, with the outer columns coloured black instead of the centre. The two vertical, parallel lines, the press release says, represent an equals sign ('=').

This slick animation shows the Olympics logo transforming into the Paralympics logo:


In the grand tradition of Olympic logo design – not least the controversial London 2012 logo – the 2020 logo debuted to mixed reviews. But now we've had a chance to let it settle in, what are designers saying about it?

Predictably, some have been dismissive:

But on balance there's been a lot more love for the logo than hate:

And the animation, especially, seems to have gone down well:

There's been some measured criticism, though, particularly of the typopgraphy:

And finally, no designer discussion would be complete without the 'backlash against the backlash'.

But what do YOU think of the 2020 Olympics logo? Be sure to share your views in the comments below!

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