Diversity, joy and solidarity is the message behind two iconic Tokyo 2020 posters, which have been chosen to symbolise and promote the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.
They were selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) from 20 posters created by Japanese and overseas artists for the Games. Twelve were on the theme of the Olympics and eight the Paralympics.
Graphic designer TOKOLO Asao’s artwork, which is based on a traditional Japanese chequered pattern, was chosen to symbolise the Olympics. It is called ‘Harmonized Chequered Emblem Study for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games’.
The vibrant, multi-coloured poster selected for the Paralympics, entitled 'Paralympian', is a collaboration of three Japanese artists known as GOO CHOKI PAR. It is the first time a separate poster has been used to symbolise the Paralympics.
The artwork on both posters will be used on official Tokyo 2020 licensed merchandise, which will go on sale shortly. All 20 art posters will also be displayed at the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo until September 5.
Olympic Foundation of Culture and Heritage director, Angelita Teo, said: “We are delighted to have outstanding artists from Japan and all over the world come together to create these official art posters for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“The chosen poster articulates themes of embracing diversity and solidarity; core messages which the Olympic Games have always valued as we work towards creating a world where people are intrinsically linked with one another. This clearly symbolises the Tokyo 2020 Games concept of ‘Unity in Diversity’.”
TOKOLO used a compass and a ruler to draw by hand his poster to reflect the traditional Japanese ichimatsu moyo pattern, which is the Tokyo 2020 emblem. He also chose indigio, the “colour for victory”, used by warlords during the Sengoku period (circa 1500), and used in workers’ clothes in the Edo period (circa 1603).
“The poster is like a baton that is passed on to future generations. As a symbol of the Tokyo 2020 Games that will mark an important milestone in Olympic history, I hope the poster will be passed on and cherished for many years to come,” said TOKOLO, 52, who was born in Tokyo and has held major exhibitions, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.
IPC President Andrew Parsons expressed how difficult it was to choose a poster from all the impressive entries: “It was difficult to choose a poster which best represents the Games as there were many great posters,” he said.
“Overall, it has been incredible to see so many great designers developing their visions of the Tokyo 2020 Games. The most iconic post by GOO CHOKI PAR represents the diversity and joy we have at the Paralympics providing a spectacular platform, to change the world through sport.”
GOO CHOKI PAR is made up of three graphic designers, namely, ISHII Rei, 36, IITAKA Kent, 36, and ASABA Q, 35. They have received major awards for their work, including One Show Design Gold, which is described as transcending language and aims to stretch the boundaries of graphic expression and free it from convention.
In a statement, they said: “We expressed the strong determination of the Para athletes who continue to challenge with optimism. Passion cannot be stopped. Passion is the hope of humanity that has always been passed on through the ages.
“We would be happy if the Paralympic poster we designed for Tokyo 2020 Games will inspre and motivate the athletes todays as well as in the times to come.”