Japan pulls Olympics logo under accusations of design plagiarism


[Read the post]


Well I don’t know if it was truly plagiarism, vs just coming to a very similar design - which is easy to do when dealing with stylizing letters. Er - is that what the Tokyo design supposed to be? Stylized T and… something?

Holy crap, this makes the London 2012 logo look like a freaking masterpiece… Seriously Japan, you guys are usually up there on design. What gives.

Actually - Idea - have Designers Republic make it for you. They had a nice futuristic Japanese vibe for a lot of their work.


So, the logo was supposed to be a “T” along with a blood splatter where one side was shot off and is now lying on the ground?


It’s not a copyright violation unless it was actually copied. It’s a lousy logo anyway though.


It’s the clown version of the logo. Add a red nose and no one will tell the difference.

And yes, the logo is very lazy and non-descript. Then again the last few olympic logos from past years have all been awful.


Can’t wait to see the new Goteki 45 FX450 Fury Canyonero debut in the opening ceremony, hovering above the stadium blasting everything with pulse missiles.


It’s a tossed-off, last-minute, nonsensical logo that’s as much ripped off of the entire Paul Rand oveure as the one it’s plagiarizing. The fact that they use an identical typeface is the most damning evidence.


Looks to me like a rather generic serif font. Is it plagiarizing when two lazy designers independently pick the same font from the top of the same heap?


I thought all Olympics were going to be in China from now on, anyway?


To be fair, it’s not the identical font – the Tokyo logo uses Belizio; the theatre font is a similar block-serif font but on closer inspection has wider serifs. But the Tokyo font is very much in the “retro” camp; that font was very popular in the 50s and 60s when Paul Rand and Charles & Ray Eames were guiding tastes in design. It’s a very weird choice for an Olympics logo, which makes me think someone was either looking at some Eames posters or saw the theatre design and decided to borrow a bit.


I live in Tokyo and this has been all over the news for the last couple days. They are saying that about half of the designer’s past with appears to have been plagiarized with some very convincing examples.


They could just fall back on their Olympic campaign logo; it’s a lot more successful than the actual logo that was chosen.


What about this one?


I do like the minimalism of it.

(Oh sure, now the image shows.)


The most damning part is the lack of an L in Tokyo 2020. Does Olympics start with an L in Japanese? Tokyo Lypics?


I was talking about this with a designer friend of mine, and they had an excellent point: the 60s in Japan is not only a very nostalgic time for them, but their first Olympics was held in '68. So a logo that’s a specific throwback to that time period makes sense, at least, from a Japanese perspective. It’s still a lousy logo, but I think that’s what they might’ve been going for.


Must be quite an idiot this designer. The Olympics are one of the most watched events world wide - billions are going to see it. There is a decent chance someone who uses or even made that logo you plagiarized will watch the Olympics and recognize it.


Any other geezers here remember the NBC “N” logo?


(I’m not sure the official logo/poster had the gradients.)


Thank you! The irony of this is that the 1964 Tokyo Olympics is held in high regard by designers; its poster/logo is simple and perfect (and did in fact use the gradient) and it was the first Olympics to introduce a pictogram icon system. It set the standards for many Olympics to come.