Belgian designer to insist Tokyo changes Olympic logo

Belgian designer to insist Tokyo changes Olympic logo

Published Jul. 31, 2015 9:15 a.m. ET

BRUSSELS -- A Belgian designer will approach the IOC and the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics to change the logo of the 2020 Games because it bears too much resemblance to his emblem for the Theatre de Liege.

The Tokyo emblem is based on a "T," standing for Tokyo, team and tomorrow. The 2013 logo for the theater in Liege has similar shapes in white against a black backdrop.

"Ideally, yes, I would like them to change," Olivier Debie said Friday. "We will see because it is a big, big machine, the Olympic system."

The designer of the Olympic emblem, Kenjiro Sano, denied copying the theater's logo.


"I had absolutely no previous knowledge of the design in question, and I certainly did not refer to it when creating my design," Sano said in a statement.

Organizers said they researched trademarks inside and outside of Japan before deciding on the logo.

But Debie said that when the Tokyo logo was announced, people contacted him to point out the similarities.

"I received lots of messages from Belgian graphic designers to say: `Wow, they copied your logo,'" Debie said. "When I looked closer I saw it was the same."