スクリーンショット 2015-08-23 16.22.02

So, a little while back there was a bit of a kerfuffle about the official 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo being at least partially plagiarized by designer Kenjiro Sano.

It appears the logo bears more than a passing resemblance to a Belgian theater’s logo design, with the centerpiece typeface structure of the 2020 Olympics logo definitely looking like it was lifted wholesale from the Belgian firm’s design.

With the fate of Sano’s logo in question, a western designer has submitted his own version for consideration by the Olympic Committee and it is, uh… eccentric.

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Kenjiro Sano has defended himself against plagiarism allegations, claiming he had no knowledge of the existing Belgian theater’s design. Indeed, the Sano design leans on incredibly common typeface and graphic design templates, so the possibility of sheer coincidence contributing to the two logos’ similarity is not out of the realm of possibility – although the logo’s similarity to a separate design for a call-to-action poster in the wake of the 2011 East Japan Earthquake Disaster from a Spanish design firm is perhaps even more damning, as the colors and patterns used bear a striking resemblance.

In light of all of this, American designer Ben Zaricor has submitted this new redesign for consideration:

While we have no doubt about Zaricor’s abilities as an artist, this proposed logo is bizarre to say the least. Apparently, the “Great Wave off Kanagawa”-type wave pattern is intended to invoke the “T” for Tokyo, although it also looks, in our eyes, a lot like the wave is trying to kick the iconic rising sun of the Japanese flag like a soccer ball.

Zaricor has also accused Sano via his Facebook page of stealing another of his designs: a red “Beach” sign shaped like an arrow. This was, according to at least one American report, the impetus for Zaricor issuing his Olympic logo challenge.

Plagiarism claims, when it comes to graphic design, can be a little trickier than in writing – where plagiarism tends to be a lot more obvious – but the strikes against Sano certainly seem to be mounting. Zaricor, for his part, says that the similarities to the beach arrow sign intellectual property apparently stolen from him by Sano are simply too obvious and meticulously recreated to be coincidence.

Time will tell whether Zaricor’s new design is used in any way for the (probably) impending official logo redo.

Featured image: Zaricor Originals Facebook page, Studio Debie Facebook page
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