Goo Choki Par designs official poster for the Paralympics demonstrating Para-athletic power
The Tokyo-based design studio has made the Paralympics 2020 official poster, along with 22 competition posters as an independent project, reflecting the power of Paralympian movement.
- Dalia Al-Dujaili
- 23 August 2021
“We expressed the strong determination of the Para athletes who continue to challenge with optimism,” says Goo Choki Par, the Tokyo design studio consisting of three graphic designers, Q Asaba, Kent Iitaka and Rei Ishii. The studio infused their geometric graphic design with elements of paint, blending the contemporary design process with a classical artistic practice. This is the first time a poster has been used for the Paralympics specifically, as opposed to one poster being used to promote both the Olympic and Paralympic games.
The design studio aimed to convey the idea that “passion cannot be stopped,” claiming that “passion is the hope of humanity that has always been passed on through the ages.” Although GCP were commissioned to create the official poster, the team went on to create all the posters for each of the 22 sports in the games, including canoeing, equestrian, and judo.
The concept was “Unity in Diversity” and this is reflected in the fusion of materials used to create the posters. “Geometric shapes are used to simplify the appeal of the competition,” says Kent Iitaka, “and to more symbolically express the moment when the body is full of power.” Brushes, pencils, and airbrushes were used in order to express speedy movement of athletes and the powerful competition space with passion. After scanning and importing these illustrations onto a computer, Iitaka mixed them with computer generated material and incorporated them into the graphic for the poster.
The studio honed in on the dynamism of wheelchairs and artificial limbs alongside the power of sound produced by the athletes’ movements. As Iitaka puts it, “The various charms of parasports, such as the sensibilities of athletes who have been sharpened in the dark, of competitions held in a world without vision, are firmly established in one graphic for each competition.” The posters on black backgrounds are used to demonstrate a competition that includes a blind class – “It expresses the presence of a player who emerges powerfully even in the darkness with his eyes closed.”
The designer says he didn't have enough understanding of parasports before beginning the project so he had to start by immersing himself in all the competitions. This experience deepened his understanding of the competition by “visiting the parasports competition, searching for materials in the library of the University of Physical Education, and watching video materials. He claims that the more he knew about the competition, the more he was drawn to the appeal of each competition – “and although there was no request from the Organising Committee I voluntarily created posters for all the competitions.”
The poster was selected by the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee from 20 posters that were created by Japanese and overseas artists for the games. The games launch tomorrow (24 August 2021) and run until 5 September.
GalleryGoo Choki Par: Paralympics Posters (Copyright © International Paralympic Committee, 2020)
Goo Choki Par: Paralympics Posters (Copyright © International Paralympic Committee, 2020)
About the Author
Dalia joined It’s Nice That as a news writer in July 2021 after graduating in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh. She's written for various indie publications such as Azeema and Notion, and ran her own magazine and newsletter platforming marginalised creativity.