The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games have revealed the official sport pictograms of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Created by a team led by Japanese designer Masaaki Hiromura over two years, the pictograms have been created with the aim of helping people overcome language barriers through the use of internationally recognisable images to depict individual sports.
As with the Olympic sport pictograms, they were designed in line with the theme, “Innovation from Harmony”, drawing inspiration from the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, when pictograms were first introduced at the Olympics. In doing so, the pictograms sidestep the recent trend of having a strong connection to the core visual identity of the Games.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games program will feature 22 sports – including two new – with one pictogram to be used for each of the two cycling disciplines. Hiromura and his team ensured that the characteristics of the individual Paralympic sports were taken into account by accurately reflecting their rules, the athletes’ posture and the equipment they use.
In total, there are two sets of 23 designs – one unframed and the other framed. 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.
The pictograms have been developed using mainly the blue of the Tokyo 2020 emblems, but five traditional Japanese colours (below) will be employed as sub-colours to create points of difference in certain applications. These include a deep red, a royal blue, a cherry blossom pink, a violet shade and a green.
“It is a real honour to have participated in the design of the Tokyo 2020 sport pictograms,” said Hiromura. “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.
“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.”