2020 Olympic logo dropped after plagiarism charge

Written By:  •  Tuesday, September 1, 2015


In response to accusations of plagiarism, the organizing committee for the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo is dropping their logo. The decision came in an emergency meeting after Belgian designer Olivier Debie charged that Tokyo logo designer Kenjiro Sano copied the logo he created in 2013 for the Théâtre de Liège in Belgium. Kenjiro Sano has been involved in plagiarism scandals in previous projects, but stood by his Tokyo 2020 design.


The original logo featured a T for Tokyo and some other T words like Tomorrow and Team (and possibly Totally Took This from Olivier Debie), as well as a red circle referencing the Japanese national flag. The logo also incorporates a hint of a typographic 2 and a counterform circle for zero, representing the year 2020.


The Olympic committee initially stood by the logo design, but they only have time to put out so many fires at once. They’re already dealing with the fact that they are a year behind constructing a stadium for the games. Plans to build the giant bicycle helmet pictured above were scrapped after projected costs nearly doubled initial estimates.

Organizers for the 2020 Tokyo games said that they will start from scratch and hold a new contest for a logo.

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Paul Caputo

Paul Caputo is a grown man who collects plastic ice cream helmet sundaes from minor league baseball stadiums because he likes logos that much. He is the author of the first book published by SportsLogos.net, The Story Behind the Nickname: The Origins of 100 Classic, Contemporary, and Wacky Minor League Baseball Team Names. He can be found on Twitter at @Count2Baseball and he maintains the Countdown to Spring Training on Facebook. Paul is a Philadelphia sports fan, but he's not so bad.