PyeongChang 2018; Design Guidelines


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Tokyo 2020; Emblem designer Asao Tokolo talks about the design process (Video by Tokyo 2020)

ONE TEAM PROJECT Asao Tokolo and Fuyuko Matsui 「Tokyo 2020 Emblems connect Tradition and Innovation」

*Please access English subtitles through the Closed Captioning (CC) button on the bottom right of the screen

The use of ‘Japan Blue’ pigment (Lapis Lazuli) is deeply intertwined with a number of traditional Japanese art forms, and you’ll find it appearing in various Tokyo 2020 designs and graphics. In this instalment of the One Team Project – an initiative where creators and innovators representing Japan share their visions of Tokyo 2020 with us – Tokyo 2020 emblem designer Asao Tokolo and world-renowned artist Fuyuko Matsui discuss the subtle beauty of Japan Blue, what it symbolises, and how they have integrated it into their creative work.

Rio 2016; Video: Fred Gelli on designing an Olympic identity that connects anyone and everyone (by Design Indaba)

Video by Design Indaba on YouTube


Video description

Strategic consultancy firm Tátil Design created the Rio 2016 Olympic identity with the hearts of the people of Brazil in mind. Its founder Brazilian graphic designer Fred Gelli spent the last 25 years studying biomimicry, imitating nature’s solutions to solve human problems. Gelli and his team drew inspiration from nature’s solutions to define the design principles that inform their award-winning work.

For Design Indaba 2016, Gelli detailed the various design principles that inform the firm’s creations. From the simplicity of Coca-Cola’s Olympic identity to the firm’s own identity. “We wanted to create something without any kind of photoshop,” says Gelli as he reveals a stencil of the Tátil Design logo. Half transparent and half mirror, the stencil allows the user to create the background of the logo using their everyday surroundings.

Staying true to Tátil’s human-centred approach to design, Gelli created a multisensory experience for the 2016 Olympic identity. The 3D design reflects local culture in a way that is universally understood while it also stays true to the local landscape. “The target audience was the entire world,” said Gelli.

“It will be seen on a mobile screen in Manhattan and on a piece of paper in a remote town in Brazil. It was a huge challenge. You try to use the values that underpin the Olympics, like union and togetherness, something bigger than sport, to create something that will inspire people.”

Tokyo 2020; “Harmonized chequered emblems” selected as emblem

© Tokyo2020
© Tokyo2020


Winning design

Harmonized chequered emblem

Chequered patterns have been popular in many countries around the world throughout history. In Japan, the chequered pattern became formally known as “ichimatsu moyo” in the Edo period (1603-1867), and this chequered design in the traditional Japanese colour of indigo blue expresses a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan.
Composed of three varieties of rectangular shapes, the design represents different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. It incorporates the message of “unity in diversity”. It also expresses that the Olympic and Paralympic Games seek to promote diversity as a platform to connect the world.

Designer of the Tokyo 2020 Games emblems
Asao Tokolo


  • Year of birth: 1969
  • Place of residence: Tokyo
  • Occupation: Artist
  • Education: Graduated in Architecture from the Tokyo Zokei University
  • Current employment:
  • Awards and exhibitions
  • MOT Annual 2010: Neo-Ornamentalism from Japanese Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
  • Open Space 2010 and 2011 – InterCommunication Center (ICC), Tokyo
  • 2014 Materializing Exhibition II – Chinretsukan Gallery of the University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts
  • 2016 TOKOLO Asao x Aomori City Archives Exhibition – Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Aomori Prefecture

Selected Works

  • 2007 – FRP/F town façade pattern, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture (architect: Hitoshi Abe)
  • 2012 – Façade pattern for the 125th Anniversary of the Education Center, Kogakuin University (architect: Chiba Manabu
  • Architects, design work with Azumi Mitsuboshi, Hachioji, Tokyo)
  • 2015 – BaoBao Issey Miyake bag (Tokolo pattern)
  • 2015 – Low-rise part façade glass pattern for the Dai Nagoya Building, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture (Architect: Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc.)


Tokyo 2020; TOCOG launches design competition for new Olympic emblem

© Tokyo 2020
© Tokyo 2020


The Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee have launched a design competition for a new emblem for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Press release:

16 October 2015 – Tokyo 2020 Launches an Open Competition for the Design of the 2020 Games Emblems

The Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee has today launched the design competition for the new Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games emblems. The competition is open to everyone regardless of previous experience or formal qualifications, and individual or group applications are welcomed.

Individual competition entries are invited from Japanese nationals over 18 years-old and foreign nationals over 18 years-old with the right of residence in Japan. Children and foreigners not resident in Japan can also take part via the group entries system (10 persons max.) as long as at least one person meets the above age, nationality and residential requirements.

The complete guidelines regarding the design competition for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games emblems are available here.

Applications can be submitted online from Tuesday 24 November to Monday 7 December 2015 through a website to be publicly announced at a later date. An official announcement of the winning entry is scheduled for spring 2016.

The entry selected by the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee will be forwarded to the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board for final approval. The winning entry will receive an official invitation to attend the opening ceremonies of both the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Games emblems should seek to symbolise the fact that the 2020 Games are being held in Tokyo and Japan, and elicit empathy with people across the world. The designs should endeavour to have widespread appeal before, during and long after the 2020 Games are over.

Tokyo 2020 would like all applicants to give full rein to their imagination and creativity, and incorporate one or more of the following key concepts into their design of new Games emblems: “The power of sport”, “Typifying Tokyo and/or Japan”, “World peace”, “Exerting the utmost efforts and striving to achieve a personal best,”, “Inclusivity”, “Innovation and Futuristic”, “Regeneration (ability to recover from the 2011 disaster).