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Designers offer alternative Tokyo 2020 Olympics logos

Following yesterday's dramatic decision to scrap the Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo (opens in new tab), the internet has been awash with alternative emblems by designers and social media users.

We were the first design website to report that organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games had pulled the plug on Kenjiro Sano's controversial logo design in the wake of persistent plagiarism claims.

Since the logo was scrapped, a flood of alternative suggestions have been shared widely – displaying varying degrees of skill – along with the hashtag #unofficialemblem in Japanese (#非公式エンブレム (opens in new tab)), the BBC reports (opens in new tab).

Japanese illustrator Kan Kan (opens in new tab) has created one of the most popular designs so far, featuring a folding fan to capture the Olympic quality of harmony.

Another alternative from Tokyo designer @umegrafix has been retweeted over 23,770 times:

Here is a larger image of that logo's evolution.

@umegrafix shows the evolution of his logo for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

@umegrafix shows the evolution of his logo for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

One extremely popular alternative logo, by Shiratori_52, invokes Japanese culture with a paper crane motif. Red for the Olympics logo represents passion; yellow-orange symbolises a bright future for disabled people in the Paralmpics logo.

Twitter user @Mrandwith pays tribute to the Japanese fire bird.

While @samurai_num_3 gives a nod to cherry blossom and concepts like 'inheriting' from the bid's proposal in his alternative Tokyo 2020 logo design.

However, not everyone invested the same amount of time into their offerings. Eiji Tamura, for example, took just 10 minutes to come up with his input into the saga:

Here's a more abstract approach, from @Shin_at_9914:

And more than one attempt features a ninja twist, like this one from @amamiyaclinic:

Twitter user @pictomancer sums up the feeling by pulling together many of the proposed alternatives, alongside the original, in one tweet:

However, amidst the countless logo suggestions currently saturating social media, many have called for Tokyo to bring back the logo it used during its Olympic bid as a candidate city.

Designed by student Ai Shimamine, it features a wealth of cherry blossoms to represent – according to committee chief Masato Mizuno in 2011 (opens in new tab) – the idea of the Olympic Games coming back to Tokyo and Japan coming back from the Fukushima disaster.

Ai Shimamine designed the logo for Tokyo's winning bid

Ai Shimamine designed the logo for Tokyo's winning bid

What do you think of the alternative Tokyo 2020 Olympic logos? Have you seen better? Have you created a better one yourself? Let us know in the comments below.

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Julia Sagar
Julia Sagar

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.