Olympics 500-Day Countdown: Tokyo 2020 unveils sports pictograms

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The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has unveiled the official sport pictograms of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The release of the pictograms also marks the 500-day countdown for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In line with the Tokyo 2020 brand promise of “Innovation from Harmony”, the Olympic  Games Tokyo 2020 sport pictograms are designed to subtly communicate the characteristics and athleticism of each sport, as well as artistically highlights the dynamism of athletes. They will play a key role in enhancing the experience of athletes and spectators alike during the Olympic Games.

While paying great respect to the predecessors and inheriting the Tokyo 1964 pictograms by innovating them, the Tokyo 2020 pictograms not only adhere to the objective of communicating information, but also are designed to display athletes’ vibrant movement in the most attractive way.

Incidentally, Olympic Games sport pictograms were first introduced at the Tokyo 1964 Games, which arose from a need to communicate visually to an increasingly international group of athletes and spectators. Since then, pictograms have been created for every edition of the Games.

There are 33 sports that will feature in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 programme, and some sports use more than one pictogram. There are two sets of 50 designs – “Free Type” and “Frame Type”. Colour variations will be developed mainly using the blue of the Tokyo 2020 Emblems and five other traditional Japanese colours—kurenai, ai, sakura, fuji and matsuba— as sub-colours to create points of difference. The Free Type unframed pictograms will be used on posters, tickets and licensed products, and the Frame Type pictograms will be used for more functional purposes on maps, signage at competition venues, guidebooks, and on websites.


A team led by renowned Japanese designer Masaaki Hiromura has designed the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 sport pictograms.

Hiromura said, “It is a real honour to have participated in the design of the Tokyo 2020 sport pictograms. I have tried to express the dynamic beauty of the athletes through these pictograms, while respecting the legacy bequeathed by the pioneers of the Japanese design industry in their designs for the Tokyo 1964 Games. The 2020 designs took us almost two years to complete and they embody the thoughtful input of the many people involved. I hope that these pictograms will inspire everyone and help generate excitement for the different sports at Tokyo 2020, and that they will colourfully decorate the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

The sports pictograms will decorate the exterior of the Olympic athletes’ village site, where construction is scheduled to be completed in December 2019, to help build excitement for the Games.

This project by Tokyo 2020 Gold Partner Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd will be the first in which decorations are installed around the city.

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