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Stunning 1964 Olympic logo design sheet unearthed

Tokyo 1964 Olympic games
(Image credit: Yusaku Kamekura)

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games might be over, but there's no shortage of Olympic-related design material out there to nerd out over. Going back almost 60 years, one of our favourite examples is this design sheet for the Tokyo 1964 Olympic emblem – voted by design legend Milton Glaser as his favourite Olympic logo ever. 

Designed by Yusaku Kamekura, the Tokyo 1964 Olympic logo was features a red sun (representing the Japanese flag) above the Olympic gold rings, with 'Tokyo 1964' typed in Helvetica. Like all the best logos, it's simple and effective – but as the design sheet reveals, that simplicity belies an incredible amount of precision.

Tokyo Olympics 1964 logo design sheet

The design sheet in all its glory (Image credit: Yusaku Kamekura)

Last year, The Logo Smith attempted to painstakingly recreate the design sheet, and it turned out to be a challenging task (read his blog post about the sheet here (opens in new tab)). "I feel they deserve heaps of recognition due to the skill, craftpersonship and creativity that these illustrious logo and guidelines so clearly deserve," the designer says. The full-size version of the recreation can be downloaded from Dropbox (opens in new tab).

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As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics come to a close (a year later than planned, thanks to the 'C' word), we can't help but wonder how the 2020 logo will be remembered. The original first logo design was scrapped due to plagiarism accusations, the official logo then arrived to a mixed reaction, and a concept logo received heaps praise – with many saying it was better than the official design. See our selection of the best Olympic poster designs for more of the best in design from the games over the years.

Official Tokyo 2020 Olympics logos

The official Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic logos (Image credit: Asao Tokolo)

It remains to be seen just what the legacy of this particular logo is, but we do like the idea of people trying to painstakingly recreate it in years to come. Let's hope there's already a detailed design sheet already somewhere in the ether. In the meantime, if you're inspired to create a logo of your own, check out our guide to logo design.

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Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Acting Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where her blogging prowess led her to become Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on art and design magazines, including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw, and got the 'Apple bug' when working on US title, Mac|Life. In 2018, she left the world of print behind and moved to Creative Bloq, where she now takes care of the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach through trying to please the Google Gods, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure our content serves ours readers as best it can. Her interests lie in branding and illustration, tech and sexism, and plenty more in-between.