2015.10.13 Tuesday

002 Duration of contest was way short

The duration of the first design contest to choose the official emblem for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was about two months, from September 12, 2014 to November 11, 2014. The official logo was ultimately scrapped. The process was set up so that participants only received application guidelines after entering the contest. Considering the time lag from entry to actual receipt of the guidelines, contest participants only had 1.5 months at most which could be devoted to creating their designs. A few days before the deadline, it was discovered that the word “Paralympics” was misspelled in the application guidelines. An unprecedented mishap. All things considered, some contestants were forced to come up with their logo designs in less than a month. I heard this from one of the contest participants after the emblem fiasco came to light. I feel that for a design competition of this caliber, a logo for the Olympic Games, allowing designers only 1 to 2 months for development, is too tight a schedule. It is just not feasible. I could imagine how the participants, all designers with thriving careers, had to struggle in order to carve out time from their extremely busy schedules.

At the first meeting when I was asked to be part of the selection panel, I raised some questions regarding the terms of the competition. One of my concerns was the short duration of the competition. The person in charge, who had come seeking my participation, explained it this way: “We considered the time when we will start using the official emblem, and the time needed to conduct a detailed screening for international trademark registration and came up with this timeline.” Time needed for design development should have been given a much higher priority. But this was not the case. As a result the duration of the contest was cut short. The whole perspective is based on prioritizing marketing; it seems like contracts with official sponsors come first.

I tried to offer my opinion, based on my experience in design development. My advice was: “We are talking about developing logos that will be deployed widely on an international basis. A timeframe of 1 to 2 months is way too short. The rule of thumb is to offer at least 6 to 10 months; I’d say 3 months is the absolute minimum.” The person in charge would not budge, explaining how difficult it was to change decisions that had already been made. I should mention that the request for me to join the panel came on September 3, 2014. A press release pertaining to the members of the panel and application guidelines was set for September 12. So I was asked to join the panel just nine days before the press release. I felt pressured into accepting. I knew if I declined, the panel would be left dangling with only seven members. I said yes. This back story in itself shows how the project was suffering from lack of preparation.

I was told, on many occasions, that experts were weighing in with their advice. If such experts were indeed design specialists, I cannot understand why they did not offer their expert advice regarding the short duration of the contest. I understand that the competition dates were decided at an official meeting of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Olympics. An opinion voiced by someone like me, without any power or authority, could do little to overturn the decision. But I still believe that contest participants must be given sufficient time if we want to see great results. 

According to the press release dated October 6, the deadline for the new competition is December 7. (Application guidelines are to be released around October 12 to 16.) The duration of the contest is again, less than two months. The new competition is proceeding according to a similar timeline as before. Have we conducted thorough verifications and learned from the issues that arose last time around?
Keiko Hirano
Keiko Hirano: 
Designer/Visioner, Executive Director of Communication Design Laboratory
Hirano served on the panel that chose the official emblem for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which was ultimately withdrawn.

001 責任がとれる方法で 002 公募期間の短さ 003 『展開』『展開性』『展開力』 004 知らされなかった招待作家 005 ブログを読んで下さっているみなさまへ 006 利害優先の土壌 007 修正案承諾拒否の経緯と理由 - vol.1 008 修正案承諾拒否の経緯と理由 - vol.2 009 『公』の仕事 010 専門家の盾 011 秘密保持誓約書という密室 012 いまこそ、私心なき専門性を問う 013 判断の論拠 014 最終の審議 015 金銭感覚と敬意の相対性 016 表現におけるモラリティと表現者のモラル 017 言葉のちから 018 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.1 019 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.2 020 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.3 021 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.4 022 願い 023 摩訶不思議な調査報告書 024 負の遺産とならないように 025 出口なき迷路 026 届かぬ思い 027「社会に位置づくデザイン」という観点 028 無責任主義の村 029 審査委員として知り得た情報のすべて 030 新聞寄稿文への異論 - vol.1 031 新聞寄稿文への異論 - vol.2 032 1対3の構図 - 「A案」VS「BCD案」 033 今を生きる 034 負の連鎖……を断つために 035 欲望の公害 精神の断絶 036 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.1 037 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.2 038 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.3 039 事実はひとつ 040 新世界へ 041 JAGDA文書への意見と要望 ― 法律の専門家による分析 042 JAGDAの回答 JAGDAへの要望書 043 「要望書へのJAGDAの回答」に対する更なる質問 044 「意見書へのJAGDAの回答」に対する質問と提案 045 ブラック・デザイン 046 弁護士から届いた封書 047 おとぎの国の物語 048 退会届
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Logo Controversy--Facts and Observations 001 My way of taking responsibility 002 Duration of contest was way short 003 “Development” “Development Capabilities” “Development Power” 004 Guest artists I wasn’t told about 005 To My Readers 006 A culture where special interests take priority 007 How and why I refused to accept the modified design - vol.1 008 How and why I refused to accept the modified design - vol.2 009 Strictly “public” work 010 Specialists as shields 011 Behind closed doors-secrecy surrounding a non-disclosure agreement 012 Time to put selfless expertise to the test 013 Rationale behind my decision 014 The final review session 015 Is the money mindset relative to paying respect? 016 Morality of expression and the morals of its creator 017 The power of words 018 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.1 019 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.2 020 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.3 021 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.4 022 My wish 023 Mystifying investigation report is out 024 In order to prevent a negative legacy 025 Stuck in a maze with no exit 026 A voice unheard 027 A viewpoint that calls for “design with a place in society” 028 A village with a policy of irresponsibility 029 Every piece of information that I garnered as a judge on the selection committee 030 Objections to a newspaper contribution - vol.1 031 Objections to a newspaper contribution - vol.2 032 The underlying picture of one against three - “Plan A” versus “Plans BCD” 033 Living in the moment 034 Putting a stop……to a negative chain of events 035 Pollution by greed and discontinuity of the spirit 036 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.1 037 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.2 038 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.3 039 Every fact has only one version 040 Toward a whole new world 041 Opinion and request regarding JAGDA document―An analysis by a legal specialist 042 Reply from JAGDA Request letter to JAGDA 043 More questions re: "Reply from JAGDA regarding Request Letter" 044 Questions and proposal re: "Reply from JAGDA regarding Request Letter" 045 Rogue design 046 Letter from the lawyers 047 Tales from Wonderland 048 Withdrawal Notice