It was for many weeks, a joke.
The Tokyo 2020 emblem was announced in July of 2015, the end of an international competition where over 100 designs were entered. When the black, gold, gray and red design of geometric shapes debuted, it was not only greeted with an underwhelming yawn, it was slapped with a lawsuit for plagiarism. The designer of the logo for a theater in Belgium felt that the design, sans the red circle, was essentially the same.
For weeks, the designer of the winning emblem, Kenjiro Sano, twisted in the wind as the poo poo hit the fan. In this day and age of the internet and social media, other examples of possible plagiarism by Sano’s firm popped up. Eventually, Tokyo2020 withdrew its supports of Sano’s logo, and started a second competition for a new design.
What I found interesting is that you can buy a T-shirt with the Sano logo on Amazon. In fact, I did, as you can see above. The quality of the shirt is so so, but for 11 bucks I have a shirt that is essentially vestimenta non grata. (You can’t find this shirt on Amazon Japan.)
What’s even funnier – you can buy a rip off of Sano’s rip off on Amazon for eight dollars more! Check out the design below, where the red circle was moved from upper right to lower right.