FAQ for Applications

Key Concepts

Q.Is there any priority for the key concepts specified in the Introduction section of the "Important Information regarding the Design of Emblems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020"? Do competition entry designs have to incorporate all key concepts?

A.There is no particular priority for the key concepts. Applicants are free to include only a single concept or multiple concepts in their designs. The key concepts demonstrate the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee's approach to its Games Vision, and we hope these concepts will inspire applicants to give full rein to their imagination and creativity when producing their designs.

Q.Are applicants required to include the particular concept from the list of key concepts in the title of their design and provide a description of the design concept?

A.Please regard the key concepts as ideas to inspire your design. There is no need to include the specific key concept in your description in the 200-character space provided. Please feel free to create your own design concept.

Q.Could you provide more details about the Tokyo 2020 Games Vision?

A.The Games Vision will serve as the foundation for all operations of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. For further details, please see Tokyo 2020 Games Vision.

Submission Qualifications and Number of Entries

Q.I am under 18 years of age. Am I eligible to apply?

A.Even if you are under 18 years of age, you can still apply as part of a group entry providing the specified representative of the group meets all application requirements.

Q.I am not a Japanese national, but I currently have right of residence in Japan. However, I intend to return to my home country shortly. Can I still apply?

A.If you have a certificate of residence for Japan at the time of your application, you are eligible to apply. However, if we are unable to contact you during the selection process for any reason, please be aware that your entry may be declared invalid.

Q.How will you confirm that applicants comply with the age, nationality and right of residency requirements?

A.We will request that you provide a copy of your Japanese driving license, certificate of residence, family register and/or passport, either during the selection process or at the time of the selection of the winning entry.

Q.Why are applicants (both individual and groups) limited to only one entry?

A.This is because we would like to evaluate designs from as many applicants as possible. We would therefore like to encourage you to ensure you enter your very best design.

Q.Are groups with 11 or more persons eligible to apply?

A.If groups exceed ten persons, it may result in rights-related issues. We have therefore decided to limit the number of group members to ten for this competition.

Submission Method

Q.Please explain the procedure for designs created with imaging software.

A.Each operating environment or imaging software is different. You are therefore requested to carefully read through the relevant instruction or operating manual for each item of imaging software.

Submission Format

Q.Is there a design template?

A.Designs should be submitted on an A4-sized sheet of paper (horizontal display), so there is no need for a design template. Please feel free to create your design as you wish. However, you are kindly requested to submit your design on a white background as specified in the selection criteria.

Q.The design development proposal only shows samples positioned in the centre of t-shirts, etc. Are applicants free to include other design elements?

A.As long as they are contained within the sample, applicants are free to design how they wish. However, please do not change the position or size of the sample.

Q.Is it possible to include other documents to show further design development examples in addition to the template?

A.To ensure fairness during the selection process, applicants are kindly requested not to include any other design development examples other than the template.

Q.Why is it necessary to provide the residential addresses and dates of birth of all persons involved in group entries?

A.This is to clarify the identities of all persons involved in the creation of the designs. If it is found that a person(s) is involved in more than one entry, those entries will be declared invalid.

Q.Why can't you accept hand-drawn entries sent by post or data of a scan of hand-drawn entries?

A.The Tokyo 2020 emblem design competition is unable to accept hand-drawn entries. All entries must be designs able to be developed on various tools and media. The winning entry must possess good development capabilities, and applicants are kindly requested to ensure they submit the digital data of their entries. Data of scans of hand-drawn designs cannot be edited and therefore cannot be accepted. If you would like to submit a hand-drawn entry, please use drawing software.

Terms and Conditions for Emblem Designs

Q.Do applicants have to strictly abide by the regulations for the composition of design elements for the emblems? (Some applicants may prefer to change the order of the elements, add or subtract certain elements).

A.The composition and order of each of the design elements is specified in the relevant regulations of both the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, and strict compliance with these regulations is required.

Q.The design criteria specifies that designs for the Olympic and Paralympic emblems should demonstrate that the emblems belong to the same design family. Could you clarify this meaning?

A.Please ensure that your emblem designs amply demonstrate that the two emblems are part of the same Tokyo 2020 Games while also ensuring that the emblems for the Olympics and the Paralympics are easily differentiated. Please refer to the emblems for the Rio 2016 Games(Open in a new window) as an example.

Q.Are applicants required to develop an original typeface for the word mark "TOKYO 2020"?

A.If the designs of the emblems include word marks in an existing typeface for which a third party already holds the rights, problems may occur when the emblems undergo copyright registration procedures. Applicants are therefore requested to develop an original typeface. If applicants experience difficulty developing an original typeface, a generic typeface may be used for the submitted entry. Please note, however, that if this submission is selected as the winning entry, the applicant will be required to develop an original typeface.

Q.Can the word mark "TOKYO 2020" be displayed on two separate lines? (e.g. "2020" directly below "TOKYO")

A.No, this is not acceptable. Please ensure that the word mark is displayed on a single line only, as shown in the example contained in the Guidelines.

Q.Are applicants required to develop an original typeface for the word mark "Paralympic Games"?

A.The word mark "Paralympic Games" must be included in the Paralympic emblem. A generic typeface may be used for the submitted entry. Please note, however, that if this submission is selected as the winning entry, the applicant will be required to develop an original typeface.

Q.Do the separate word marks "TOKYO 2020" and "Paralympic Games" have to be displayed in different original typefaces?

A.There is no particular regulation on this point. Different original typefaces can be used, or the same original typeface can be used for both.

Q.The design of the London Olympic and Paralympic emblems is almost identical, only the colours are different. Don't the designs for the Olympic and Paralympic emblems have to be different?

A.Current regulations stipulate that designs which may be easily confused with each other are not acceptable.

Q.The Games emblems for the London 2012 Games include the Olympic and Paralympic symbols (Olympic rings and Paralympic agitos) within the overall emblem. The Games emblems for the Sochi 2014 Games do not include a top emblem. Why is this?

A.Current regulations stipulate that these types of designs are no longer acceptable.

Q.Why is there a regulation prohibiting the use a letter of the Roman alphabet or a widely-recognised form, symbol, etc. for the top emblem?

A.Trademarks composed of a single letter of the Roman alphabet or a widely-recognised form are difficult to register both in Japan and internationally.

Q.Why will designs featuring modifications of the Olympic and Paralympic symbols not be evaluated?

A.Such modifications are prohibited under International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee regulations.

Q.Why are designs that feature the Olympic torch/flame or Olympic medals not acceptable?

A.This is prohibited under International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee regulations.

Q.It is stated that designs already available in the public domain will not be evaluated. However, I have uploaded a design on a social media platform that can only be accessed by a limited number of friends. Is this type of design also unacceptable?

A.Please do not submit any entries which large numbers of people may be aware of or able to view - even on a social media site. If such a design is found to have been submitted, it will not be forwarded as a candidate design for selection.

Q.Does a design entered into a previous competition, but which was not selected as the winning entry, constitute a design already in the public domain?

A.A design that was entered into a previous competition but was not selected as the winning entry and was not widely available to view, may be entered.

Q.Applicants may not be aware if their entries infringe upon the copyrights or trademark rights of a third party. What should they do about this?

A.Applicants are not requested to carry out a special investigation to ascertain whether their entries infringe upon any third party rights. However, applicants are kindly requested to ensure that their designs are not copies (either wholly or partially) of an existing design. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will conduct an investigation into whether entries infringe upon the copyrights or trademark rights of a third party to the fullest extent possible.

Evaluation and Selection Results

Q.The criteria that the selection committee will take into account is listed. Are there any points that are considered particularly important, or is there any particular order of these points?

A.All the stated points are considered equally important for the function of the emblems. There is no particular priority.

Q.How many persons will receive official invitations to attend the opening ceremonies?

A.A decision will be made on this matter after discussions with the person submitting the winning entry.

Q.Could you please explain the selection procedure?

A.Regular reports on the selection procedure will be posted on the Tokyo 2020 Games emblems.

Q.Could you please explain about the selection criteria?

A.Emblem designs should seek to incorporate one or more of the following key concepts:
Empathy – be able to elicit the empathy of many people
Symbolism – be suitable as a symbol of the Tokyo 2020 Games
Originality – be full of originality and distinctiveness
Aesthetic sense – be outstanding as a design
Scalability – be able to be used in various forms of media, including licensed products, Games adornments, etc.
Reproducibility – there is minimal change to the design image when reproduced in colour, monochrome, when enlarged or reduced

Important Points

Q.It is stated that design modifications may be required. Could you provide clarification of this point?

A.It is anticipated that modifications will have to be made to the design and typeface used for the word marks of the emblems. For example, it is necessary that an original typeface is used for the word mark "TOKYO 2020", so if the submitted entry features a word mark in a generic typeface, this will have to be changed. The selection committee will examine the matter further and make a final decision on the circumstances that modifications will be required, by whom, and the extent of the modifications.

Q.Why may checks be made on sketches, drawings, etc. used during the design creation process?

A.If it is found that a submitted design closely resembles an existing design in investigations carried out during the selection process or after the winning entry is selected, applicants may be requested to provide evidence to prove their entry is an original design. Applicants are therefore requested to keep sketches, drawings, etc. made during the creation of their designs, which may be required later as evidence of an original design.

Submission of Entries

Q.Is it possible to confirm whether submitted entries have been received?

A.An on-screen 'confirmation of receipt' message will be displayed once the entry submission procedure has been completed on the dedicated submission system. A 'confirmation of receipt' message will also be sent by email. Please note that we will be unable to respond to enquiries made by telephone.

Q.Please provide details of the selection procedure and the timeline.

A.Entries are accepted online. Please access the application site from the special webpage for the Tokyo 2020 Games emblems on the official Tokyo 2020 website. Please note that the period for accepting entries is noon on 24 November to noon on 7 December 2015

Q.Will applicants be required to pay an administrative or other fee when submitting their entries?

A.No administrative fees will be required. Please note, however, that all costs incurred in the application will be borne by the applicant.

Q.It is stated that the concept description should not exceed 100 words. If the description exceeds 100 words, will the entry be disqualified?

A.It will not be disqualified immediately; however, any description exceeding 100 words may not be forwarded for selection. Please ensure, therefore, that your description does not exceed 100 words.

Q.What points should be included in the concept description?

A.Please describe the basic concept of your design, and the process you followed from the inception of the original idea to the completed design.

Application Website

Q.If an applicant notices an error after submitting the entry, is he/she able to rectify the error?

A.When applicants submit their entries, they will be requested to check to ensure the entry contains no errors. No modifications can be made to the design or any other registered items once the entry has been submitted. Thank you for your kind understanding in this regard.

Q.I did not receive a 'confirmation of receipt' email after sending my provisional registration. Why is this?

A.This may be because you entered the wrong email address when sending your provisional registration, or because your spam filter will not accept the 'confirmation of receipt' email.

If you entered the incorrect email address:
Please check that you have entered your email address correctly, and resend your registration.
Please note that if you use a free mail service (e.g. Yahoo! email, etc.) this may contain a spam filter. You are therefore advised to check your spam folder.

Q.I sent in my registration without downloading the PDF confirming application details. Can I retrieve this PDF document?

A.You will be unable to return to the screen displaying the PDF document. Further important information regarding the selection process will be displayed along with the 'confirmation of receipt' (provisional name) email, so please ensure that you save this 'confirmation of receipt' email for future reference.

Q.Can I submit an application on my smartphone?

A.Sorry, but applications submitted by smartphone cannot be accepted. Please submit your entry by computer.

Q.I have been clicking the URL included in the provisional registration email, but I am not being transferred to the formal registration site. What should I do?

A.It is possible that you may not be transferred to the formal registration site automatically even when you click on the URL included in the provisional registration email. In such cases, please try the following actions:

1) Copy the URL, and paste it directly into the address bar.
2) It is possible that a space may have opened up in the URL. If so, please delete this space and try again.

Return of Submitted Entries

Q.Will the submitted entries be returned to applicants once the selection procedure is completed?

A.Unfortunately, submitted entries cannot be returned to the original applicant. Thank you for your kind understanding in this regard.


Q.When the winning entry is used for commercial purposes, will the name of the applicant be made public, and will the applicant receive royalties?

A.As specified in the "Important Points regarding the Design of the Tokyo 2020 Games Emblems," the applicant of the winning entry will be required to transfer all rights without compensation. When the winning entry is used for commercial purposes, the name of the applicant will not be made public, and the applicant will not be entitled to receive royalties.

Emblem Used During Tokyo’s Bid Campaign

Q.Are applicants permitted to submit the emblem design (featuring cherry blossoms) used during the bid campaign?

A.The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee holds the rights to the emblem used during Tokyo's bid campaign. In addition, applicants must not submit designs that are a replica of or closely resemble existing designs, and therefore must not submit the emblem design (featuring cherry blossoms) used during the bid campaign. Please ensure that you create your own original designs for the Tokyo 2020 Games emblems.