Following a widely publicized plagiarism scandal, the new logos for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games were released. Designed by Asao Tokolo, the winning design was selected from a public call for logo submissions that engendered over 14,500 responses.
Wally Krantz, executive creative director of Landor New York, weighed in on the new designs in an interview with the American Marketing Association.
“The new design, it definitely functions. It has the potential to do more. … Is it going to inspire or be memorable? That has yet to be seen. I don’t think it’s going to provoke thought. I don’t think it’s groundbreaking by any means. It’s appropriate at best. With the Olympics it seems like an opportunity to strive a little higher for something more appropriate than good.
“[The logo] has a potential to define a moment in time. It’s embodying a time and thing for us to remember. A touchpoint to go back to. There’s a desire to embody the spirit of the host country in some way, or [bring] a sense of energy, just to make this a memorable occasion.
“[This year’s design] qualified, but I probably won’t rate it a medal. I’m sure there are other ways they could go for a gold.”
To read more design opinions on the Tokyo 2020 logos, see the full article on AMA.org.
About Landor and the Olympic Games:
Landor has a long history of branding at the Olympics—from the games themselves to national teams, corporate sponsorships, and personal experiences for the athletes and their families. Landor’s identities for the Atlanta, Nagano, and Salt Lake City Games celebrated the Olympics’ positioning of optimism, inspiration, friendship, and community and incorporated elements of what made each location and season unique. Landor also designed uniforms, equipment, vehicles, and merchandise for Team USA at the 2002 Olympics. In 2012, Landor helped create the P&G Family Home, a space for Olympians and their families to call home while at the Games.
The above quotes were originally published as part of the article “Leading logo designers weigh in on Tokyo’s new symbol for the 2020 Summer Olympics” in AMA (2 May 2016).