The Official Symbol for Expo '70 is Decided! 1966

The Official Symbol for Expo '70 is Decided! 1966

The following is article penned by Masaru Katzumie for issue No.85 of "Design" magazine from 1966 announcing the decision on the Expo '70 logo. This has been translated for LogoArchive from an original Japanese text and offers insight into the judging process, of which Masaru Katzumie was part of.

This magazine is available to view or buy here.

It goes without saying that in order for the World Exposition to succeed as a celebration of modern civilization, it must make better use of the language of design than the Tokyo Olympics, which are considered to have been quite successful, if not perfect.

It is unfortunate that the decision on the symbol mark, which is the first step in establishing the design policy for the World Exposition in Japan, took a major turn. As the chairman of the judging committee, I am more than happy that the official mark was decided by the almost unanimous opinion of the association and the experts. Moreover, the mark chosen was the work of a local Osaka designer, and it is very Osaka-like, bold, cheerful, and symbolic in a way that is appropriate for a World Exposition.

The advantage of a competition is that the intentions of the client are completely conveyed to all the designers. However, in this case, the lack of communication between the Expo Association and the designers meant that this advantage could not be fully utilized. However, I would like to express my gratitude for the kindness of the 15 designers from two organizations who understood the difficult situation and willingly agreed to resubmit their works, as well as for the subsequent efforts of the association.

In Japan, not only does the design of symbols and marks generally tend to be neglected, but users also tend to do so. In this respect, Chairman Ishizaka's strong interest in the mark, despite the unanimous recommendation of the experts, was very effective in making the general public aware of how important the mark is.

With the decision on the official mark, the first stage of the Expo design problem has been settled, but there are still many issues to be resolved, such as the typeface and theme colors. In order to make Asia's first World Exposition worthy of international recognition, it is time to move forward.

The first issue I would like to address is the design organization of the Japan Expo Association. In one respect, the scope of design is difficult to define, and in order to establish a strong system to ensure consistency in the design policy of the World Exposition, it is impossible to exercise sufficient control unless the Design Committee Chairman, who is involved in all aspects of the organization, is given authority equivalent to that of the Secretary General. The fact that this review proved to be quite a challenge was partly due to problems with this system on the part of the association. From my own experience as the art director of the Tokyo Olympics, where I was in charge of the design office, this issue cannot be overemphasized. At the same time, I regret that we, as professionals, needed to consider the rules to fully control this type of competition. It is important to note that this issue was one of the other reasons for the difficulty of this review.

In fact, I was very anxious because I was about to attend the judging session of the international symbol design competition to be held in Belgrade, Hugo, from April 14 this month. I was more than grateful to be able to leave with a clear mind.