Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic logos play with negative space

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee says the logos, created by Japanese designer Kenjiro Sano, represent “the power of unity”.


The logos for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are both made of elements that represent “the power of unity”, according to the Games’ Organising Committee.

The identities have been created by Japanese designer Kenjiro Sano, founder of studio MR_DESIGN. Both are made up of four elements – a black column, a red circle and gold and silver curves.


The identities are based on the use of negative space and are designed as the reverse of each other.

Black represents “diversity” and red is “beating heart”

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee says the identities aim to reflect the Games’ vision of “the full meaning of coming together as one”.

The black used in the columns represents “diversity – the combination of all colours”, say the organisers.

The circle, meanwhile, represents “an inclusive world in which everyone accepts each other” and its red colour shows “the power of every beating heart”.

Logos show “T” for Tokyo and “=” for equality

The organisers say the “T” shape of the Olympic logo stands for Tokyo, Tomorrow and Team, while the Paralympic logo is inspired by = the universal sign of equality.

IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates says: “By embracing the concept of unity in diversity, [the identities] show the unique ability of the Olympic Games to bring together people from all over the world in peace and harmony.

“Most importantly, these emblems represent Tokyo and its people. They reflect the vibrant nature of the city and the welcoming spirit of its citizens – two elements that the Olympic athletes in 2020 will fully appreciate.

“These logos will influence the future of Olympic design”

“I congratulate the Tokyo 2020 team on their work and believe that these emblems will have an important influence on the future of Olympic design.”

Yoshiro Mori, president of Tokyo 2020, says: “The Tokyo 2020 Games emblems are a wonderful work of art that represent the aspirations and the ultimate goal that athletes around the world aim to achieve – taking part in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The identities for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games were created by Brazilian consultancy Tátil, while those for the London 2012 Games were designed by Wolff Olins.

Tokyo previously hosted the Olympics in 1964, when the Games identity was designed by Yusaku Kamekura.

Discover more:

• Designing the Rio 2016 Olympics

• Rio organisers unveil ‘look’ of the 2016 Olympics

• London 2012 design icons – the Olympic logo

Hide Comments (3)Show Comments (3)
  • David Sweeney July 28, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Nothing comes under more scrutiny than an Olympic logo design… this one will be no different. In the words of Louis Walsh… I like it

  • Thomas Wood July 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Another load of corporate ‘bull’ coming out in the description… whatever you say mate, whatever!

  • Daniel Curry August 5, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Isn’t white the combination of all colours, and not black?

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