Shorts: BIE by Matsushima Masanori
Matsushima Masanori's 1972 logo for the Bureau International des Expositions
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At the request of Japan, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE)–the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing and regulating World Expos since 1931–called on the governments of the 34 member countries to establish a ‘uniform logo’.
Each country was asked to submit three design proposals to the BIE Publicity Committee in Paris who would make the final decision. In Japan, an open competition was initiated and jointly sponsored by the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Japan World Exposition Association.
Masaru Katzumie, who was working as a design adviser to the Association, was asked to serve as chairman of the selection committee. Katzumie had experience working with selection committees. He had overseen the design of symbols for Expo '70 and the Meiji Centenary, and would later go on to manage those of the Sapporo Winter Olympic Games and Expo ‘75.
Katzumie was not in favor of an open competition, but recommended Zenichi Mano, Ryuichi Yamashiro and Ikko Tanaka as committee members. Joining them would be Government representative Hagiwara and World Exposition Association Chairman Sugano.
Out of the 44.628 designs submitted, one top design and five honourable mentions were selected, and the top three were sent to Paris. The logo that won the domestic competition in Japan depicted a wave like form and was designed by Ueda Hiroyoshi and Furumura Makoto. This was accompanied by a logo of interlinked figures by Tooru Sawamura and a globe intersected by lines forming a raised pyramid by Matsushima Masanori.
Katzumie reached out to friends in London and Paris about sending experts from ICOGRADA to the Publicity Committee to help with the selection process, however, this appeal did not succeed. From the submissions sent in from the 34 members of the BIE, it was one of three designs submitted from Japan that was selected as the official logo. Although the logo by Ueda Hiroyoshi and Furumura Makoto was favoured domestically, it was the one selected as the third best in Japan that was awarded first place. This logo continues to be used by the BIE today with only a slight amendment to the lines that saw these opened up to improve recognition when reduced down.
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