Tokyo 2020 official Olympic logo unveiled after plagiarism scandal

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NBC News (by

The new official emblem of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was unveiled by organizers Monday, replacing an earlier design that was dropped after a complaint alleging plagiarism.

The chosen checkered logo conveys “the message of unity in diversity,” officials announced.

It was selected from a shortlist of four published earlier this month after a public contest that attracted 14,599 entries.

The original, by art director Kenjiro Sano, was withdrawn last summer after Belgian artist Olivier Debie claimed that it echoed his work for the Theatre de Liege. Sano denied the allegation.

The new indigo blue logo, called “Harmonized checkered emblem,” was created by artist and architecture graduate Asao Tokolo, 47.

It “expresses a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan,” Tokyo 2020 officials said in a statement.

Composed of three varieties of rectangular shapes, the design represents different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. It incorporates the message of unity in diversity.”

Image: Asao Tokolo
Designer Asao Tokolo holds his designs for the logo of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, left, and the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The organizing committee for the Tokyo Summer Games has been plagued by fumbles. Last year, the original design for the main stadium was scrapped over mushrooming construction costs and public disapproval of the design, which had been likened to a bicycle helmet.

The winning logo was selected from these four shortlisted emblems.


New font incorporates English pronunciations into Japanese katakana


A U.K. company named Johnson Banks has come with an ingenious way to include English pronunciation in Japanese katakana characters. The company has dubbed this new font cleverly as “Phonetikana,” where each katakana character featured a few English letters to help English speakers say the word properly.

The company started incorporating the new font in simple words like “banana” and “tomato” but also showed what longer phrases such as the “sound of something spinning” would look like. The first simple example that company showed is the katakana characters for Uniqlo versus the new Phonetikana.

It’s a really brilliant idea, and I’m sure it will be incredibly helpful for so many people who are trying to learn Japanese.

The name Michael


Uniqlo in Phonetikana

Niko Niko=smile

 ˜Doki Doki =the sound of my heart beating

Kuru Kuru=˜sound of something spinning

Cheese=Group Photo


Toppu banana=top banana

Biggu Appuru=big apple

“Tokyo No Ads”: GIF Images of Tokyo without its billboards and neon signs

Tokyo top

RocketNews 24:

If you’ve ever walked the streets of Tokyo, you’ll know how the buzz of people, street signs and giant screens can heighten all your senses and fill you with a rush of excitement that stays with you well after you’ve returned back home. While travel brochure photos can never truly prepare you for the dense onslaught of visual and aural stimuli that envelop you when you visit the megalopolis, one creative photographer has come up with a clever way of highlighting the main features of the city by showing us just how bare the city landscape looks without them there.

Come with us as we take a walk through day and night in Tokyo and see just how different the place looks when the neon signs and billboards are taken away. You’ll never see Tokyo in quite the same way again.

The series, called “Tokyo No Ads”, was created by French graphic designer Nicolas Damiens. His premise is simple: “Tokyo’s ads are part of its appeal, but what would the bustling streets of Japan’s capital look like without the logos, slogans and company names?”

▼ Even by day, towering billboards manage to speak to us without us even knowing.


▼ The crossing in front of the iconic Shibuya 109 building looks somewhat quieter when stripped of its surrounding advertisements and presented as an empty space.


▼ For information overload, head to the scramble crossing outside Shibuya Station. No wonder city life is taxing – how can we possibly take in all those images and messages at once?


▼ As dusk settles, the city comes to life with bright lights and neon signs. With such tight restrictions on space, even small shops are saturated with signs and posters to entice customers.


▼ Shops and businesses in Tokyo are often piled high on top of one another on many floors of very tall, narrow buildings. Without traditional shopfronts, these businesses rely on street level signage to entice customers and promote their wares and services, which means numerous signboards spill out onto walkways, making for a unique streetscape.


▼ While illuminations and light-ups are popular for providing a sense of warmth in the cold winter months, this light display is available every night of the year along the many streets of Tokyo. Long stretches of low-hanging signs cradle people with warmth and light, a comforting feeling in such an expansive yet dense urban environment.


By taking away the background to Tokyo’s cityscape, these images bring a mosaic that’s often taken for granted back to the foreground.

Tokyo artist creates photo-realistic drawings with colored pencils

colored pencil top

RocketNews 24:

Hey that’s a nice photograph of a peaceful oasis in Tokyo. Wait, it’s not a photograph? It’s a drawing? Made with colored pencils?!

Ryota Hayashi has been bringing the Nakano Ward of Tokyo to life for the past several years through his breathtakingly realistic colored pencil renditions. He’s recently been getting a lot of attention on social media, and it’s not at all hard to see why.

Ryota is a graduate of Waseda University’s Art History Department, and he worked as a graphic designer until he took up colored pencils in 2009. He looks for inspirationall around where he lives in Nakano, such as “the water shining beautifully on the water” or “the colors on a hill that look like a natural gradient.” It takes him about 20 minutes to fill up a B3 (13.9in x 19.7in) size piece of paper, and he holds colored pencil classes all over Nakano.

Unsurprisingly, when Ryota started sharing his work on the Nakano Facebook page, he immediately started racking up the likes and shares, bringing in lots of followers of his own.

Here’s a taste of what they saw:

Ryota was featured in the American art magazine COLORED PENCIL Magazine in 2014, and last month had an exhibit in Nakano featuring his work. Ryota commented: “I’ve gotten a lot more students in my colored pencil classes thanks to social media. I hope that my artwork inspires even more of them to take up the art. I want them to experience the delicacy and warmth that colored pencils provide over oil or watercolor.”

If you’d like to see more of Ryota’s work, then check out his Facebook orTwitter pages. And if you ever find yourself in the Nakano area with a box of colored pencils and you’re itching to draw, don’t be afraid to stop by one of his classes.

Kazumasa Nagai x PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE Pop-Up Store

Image of Kazumasa Nagai x PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE Pop-Up Store


ISSEY MIYAKE first introduced the Pleats Please line back in 1989, and it has been developed every season thereafter. A collection of products for the brand was recently launched in collaboration with Japanese graphic designer Kazumasa Nagai with a week-long pop-up shop visualized by Keisuke Fujiwara to celebrate and promote the release. Fujiwara transformed the playful geometries of graphics into various architectural details creating a spatial experience. Each item is based on the theme of Nagai’s five animals feature poster ‘life,’ originally painted by Nagai in 1993, with rectangular objects imitating the beast-like forms that are shaped to create hanger racks, or function as shelves to display other items.

These bold and quirky characteristics are partnered with a plain white backdrop in-contrast with the vibrant displays and artwork.


Image of Kazumasa Nagai x PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE Pop-Up Store

Image of Kazumasa Nagai x PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE Pop-Up Store

Image of Kazumasa Nagai x PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE Pop-Up Store


Artist Profile: Singaporean artist William Chua’s “Panda Revolution”


Panda Revolution XV
Victory to the Panda Revolution
Inspired by China Propaganda poster.
Chinese wording in the drawing mean ” Cheers for the great victory of panda revolution!”

Panda Revolution XVI
Panda The Revolutioner
Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter”.

Panda Revolution XVII 
Panda salutes you
Inspired by American Propaganda Poster and a poster from Captain American’s movie.

Panda Revolution XVIII 
A special and highly crafted edition from Pandastronaut series 

Panda Revolution Extra 2
Pantoo flash
Inspired by the tattoo(s) of Norman Keith Collins ( better known as Sailor Jerry) and a continuous of my pantoo series

Panda Revolution XIX 
Sailor Panda
Inspired by American Propaganda Poster.

Panda Revolution XX
Celebrate the Revolution
Inspired by Russian Propaganda Poster and specially dedicated to Singapore National Day

Panda Revolution XXI
Special edition for August! 
The state of mind that everyone love a panda whenever they saw one, that’s ©Pansanity!

Panda Revolution XXII
To The Space
Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s drawing, ” To The Rescue.”

Panda Revolution Extra 3 
Pantoo flash 2
Inspired by the tattoo(s) of Norman Keith Collins ( better known as Sailor Jerry) and a continuous of my pantoo series.

Panda Revolution XXIII 
Okay Panda Propaganda 
Inspired by China propaganda poster and “obey” poster! 

 Panda Revolution XXIV 
Panda-ism Special edition for December! 
Inspired by the Russian Propaganda Poster!

Check out this link:

Artist Profile: “Body” – illustrations by Wataru Yoshida


Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida


Check out Wataru Yoshida’s illustrations from his series, Body.

My motive for this series of illustrations, “Body”, is to show the complex and interesting structure of a human body. When dealing with humans as a theme, I believe that their physical features are more intriguing than the psychological.

– Wataru Yoshida


Check out this link:


Artist Profile: “Body” – illustrations by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida

Body - illustration by Wataru Yoshida



Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs



RocketNews 24:


We almost wonder whether Yang Liu, a Beijing-born designer who has lived in Germany since 1990, was tripping when she put together these hip, riddle-like pictographs that abstractly convey behavioral differences between Westerners and Easterns; or more specifically, Germans and Chinese.

Relying on her experiences in Europe and China, Liu put together these clever designs that are a sort of Rorschach test for which region you identify with. We found ourselves staring and trying to figure out what they stood for, then nodding in agreement about one side or the other, but not always the side Liu expected us to identify with.

Of course, it’s never good to make gross generalizations about entire groups of people – we’re sure there are a lot of Germans who do sort of meander around what they really want to say hoping the listener will get the hint, and we have plenty of Chinese friends who actually do know how to line up properly. So, do take these with a grain of salt.

Most of these are pretty easy to figure out at a glance, but a few require some deeper thinking, so we’ll be putting the explanations for the photos after each one rather than before. Germany is represented on the left (in blue), while China is on the right (in red):


cul14How they prefer to approach problems.

cul1How they give opinions.

culHow they form lines.

cul2How they see themselves.

cul3How they feel about showing up on time.

cul4Patterns for how they form human connections.



cul5How they express their feelings.




cul8What the street looks like on a Sunday (apparently).

cul9What a party might look like from above.

cul10Noise levels in a restaurant.



cul12How they capture memories.



cul13Ideals of beauty (with Germans preferring women with darker skin and Chinese putting fair-skinned women on a pedestal).



cul15Temperatures of a typical day of meals.



cul16Preferred transportation.



cul17How typical old folks like to spend their days.



cul18Bathing preferences.



cul19How they feel about weather.



cul20How the boss is treated.



cul21Food trends.



cul22The role of a child.



cul23How people feel about triangles. (Just kidding, it’s how they feel about trendy consumer goods.)

cul24How each group stereotypes the other.


Check out this link:

Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs


The six year anniversary of the re-naming of Yiying Lu’s ‘Lifting A Dreamer’ to Twitter ‘Fail Whale’


Lifting A Dreamer aka Fail Whale


Laughing Squid:


Today marks the six year anniversary naming of the once-ubiquitous “Fail Whale“, a colorful illustration of a “white beluga whale held up by a flock of birds” that became synonymous with a Twitter server overload. The illustration, originally named “Lifting A Dreamer“, was created by graphic designer Yiying Lu in 2009 until it was re-named in that same year by Twitter user Nick Quaranto.

Since that time, the illustration has taken many different forms, from tattoos to sculptures to cakes to artwork from different artists. Whether the message is that of a dreamer or that of a failure, the image has resonated deeply into the world’s psyche.


The fan base creative expression of the “Lifting a Dreamer” (“Fail Whale”) has grown tremendously over the past 6 years, from tattoo to 3D sculptures, Lego to beer labels, cakes to street art…the “Fail Whale” gradually became a culture icon. There are hundreds, probably thousands, of funny ‘modified’ Lifting a Dreamer on the internet.


Fail Whale Sculpture

Quilled Fail Whale

fail whale

Conan Pale Whale

Twitter Cake

Yiying and Fail Whale



Check out this link:


The six year anniversary of the re-naming of Yiying Lu’s ‘Lifting A Dreamer’ to Twitter ‘Fail Whale’