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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Belgian Cries Foul Over Tokyo Olympic Logo

Either there's no such thing as an original idea anymore, or there's always someone out there looking to take you down.

Let's file this story under Japan's 2020 Tokyo Olympics is ready-set-and off the mark.

Designer of the official 2020 Tokyo Olympic logo, Japanese designer Sano Kenjiro (surname first) has poo-pooed the claim that his design is copied from the emblem of a Belgian theater.

At a news conference on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, Sano said his design was original and he never saw the emblem for the Theatre de Liege before creating his logo. You can check out what's on at the theater HERE - it's not in English, though.

Belgian designer Olivier Debie has asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo Olympic organizers to change the logo because he claims its looks a lot like his theater logo.

“I am extremely surprised to hear the remarks of the Belgian designer,” Sano told reporters. “I would like to take this opportunity to state that his claims are completely groundless.

"I take a lot of time with every design, nurturing them like children," claims Sano. "So for this kind of talk to emerge is really unfortunate and kind of sad.

"I was shocked and found it hard to accept, to be honest," he adds. "But I've never been to Belgium, nor seen the logo even once."

It being a theater, I am sure most people in Belgium haven't seen it either.

Sano said his geometric design uses a widely available font for the letter “T,” which stands for "Tokyo", "Team" and "Tomorrow".

He said the red circle in the logo was inspired by designer Kamekura Yusaku's (surname first) emblem for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

The 2013 logo for the theater has a similar “T” in white against a black backdrop.

The "T" also stands for "Terrible", but that's just my opinion of the logo for both the Belgian theater and the theater of the absurd theater has become the Tokyo Olympics.

If that is a "T", okay... but what is that thing in the right bottom corner? At least in the Belgian Theatre de Liege logo, that corner piece is part of a stylized "L". Whatever that corner piece is on the Tokyo Olympic logo, it ain't no T.

And... in the Tokyo Olympic version... gold in the upper left corner and silver on the bottom right corner.. do we suppose that's for two of the three medals awarded? Where's the Bronze? Riiiiight. In other words, gold and silver are used for some reason I can't figure out.

 Tokyo organizers said they researched trademarks inside Japan and abroad before deciding on the logo. The emblem for the Belgian theater is not a registered trademark.

Wait.. does that mean they saw the logo and said 'screw it' and proceeded anyway, or that they simply didn't see it because the theater logo wasn't part of the official logo database? Probably the latter…

"Their logo was not a registered trademark, so there is absolutely no problem," says Tokyo 2020 marketing director Maki Hidetoshi (surname first).

"In developing the emblems, Tokyo 2020 went through a regular verification procedure and chose the logo after a long, comprehensive and transparent process," say the games organizers.

"Prior to the announcement of the emblem, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 conducted extensive research on trademark protections internationally. We did not identify any particular issues through the thorough process and then became confident about releasing the emblem."

Maki notes that the logo - revealed just this past July, are already being utilized by sponsors… Hey… Japan—It's A Wonderful Rife is willing to be bought to say this is an official blog of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

What? I have to pay you to promote your 2020 Olympics? I didn't see that coming. 

Neither did Tokyo, as the bad press from the ridiculous Belgian claim follows the Olympic organizers having to apologize to the IOC because of its decision last month to scrap the Olympic stadium design Tokyo had already opted for… finally realizing that the Zaha Hadid designed turtle-looking stadium was something to be mocked.

Of course, along with the stadium looking like the kaiju (monster movie) critter Gamera, there were many in the media who had no problem showing their national socialistic pride by deriding the fact a non-Japanese architect and design was chosen.

Then they started complaining about the cost… and how the original design would affect the over all zen quality of the nearby palace for those who wanted to look at the palace.

Then the Tokyo organizers started to look at ways to make it less of an eyesore, which would also save it a few bucks - until the designer said 'stop', because some of the things being removed aren't merely decoration, but are needed to provide strength to the facility…

Finally, saying fugue it all, the design was scrapped, and a new design is airing to be chosen.

So… what I'm saying is… since there is already precedent, if they had to, Tokyo organizers could also change their collective mind about using the pretty damn boring official logo with the confusing gold and silver colors.

Oh well… despite the logo being boring and color confused, the initial steps of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been as entertaining as watching someone slip on a banana peel.

The joke is funny once or twice… and then you start to wonder just how stupid the slippee is, and whether or not you have ever actually seen anyone - ANY ONE - really slip on a banana peel and slip.

Andrew Joseph

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