• Transform magazine
  • September 20, 2019


Tokyo Olympics branding progresses with 500 days to go

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With just under 500 days to go until the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the brand development of the games is in full swing.

The Tokyo Organising Committee has unveiled the pictograms that will provide crucial wayfinding and signage as well as signposting throughout the Games, and across all platforms. This week also saw Eurosport – the official broadcaster of the Olympics in Europe – release its on-screen logo for its Tokyo Olympic coverage.

The pictograms are rendered in circular shapes, reflecting the primary Tokyo logo’s round geometric design. They maintain a slight sense of fluid motion, but rely on straight lines and clean arcs to identify the sports. Particularly evocative images include the archery, rhythmic gymnastics and softball icons, which all represent the dose of personality given to the icons.

The previous iteration of the Tokyo Olympics, in 1964, were the first to introduce pictograms to the branding of the Games. The icons were first developed as a way of bridging the language gap between Japanese and the official Olympic languages of English and French.

The pictograms were launched when there were 500 days to go, as was Eurosport’s new Olympic branding. It uses a geometric-inspired ident as well, inspired by manga, while still diverging enough to be distinctive and TV-ready. Eurosport’s broadcasting of the Olympic Games began with PyeongChang. Its visual identity for last year’s Winter Games evoked a sense of pop icon status for the athletes, taking its cues from K-pop culture. Its logo featured a cut-out mountain on a purple orb.

George Aivazoglou, vice president of marketing at Eurosport, says, “We wanted our Tokyo 2020 brand identity to create a unique symbol that incorporates and respects Japanese culture and the iconic Eurosport logo, to become instantly recognisable and resonate with millions of people watching the Games across Europe.” He adds that the versatility and dynamism of the brand will help it engage with younger audiences across multiple channels.

Eurosport will be the European broadcasting home for the Olympics through the 2024 Games in Paris.