The World Games 2025 logo

In December 2023, the Chengdu 2025 Organising Committee (OC) initiated a national contest to create the logo, mascot and slogan of The World Games 2025.

There were 3,562 logo entries, and in early April 2024 a meeting was convened in Chengdu to narrow the entries down to ten finalists. Following professional refinement, five candidate emblems emerged and were put to a public vote. More than 220,000 “likes” were cast. The logo designed by British designer John Fairley won with 55,679 votes, and on May 17th 2024, after joint review by the OC and the IWGA, The World Games 2025 logo was unveiled.

John Fairley kindly shared details on the variety of ideas within the mark — perhaps the most obvious being the stylised panda face that John replicated and rotated. I didn’t pick up on the panda at first glance, but once noticed it can’t be unseen.

“My logo design draws inspiration from the Chinese peony, the panda, a Chinese knot, arrows, and the world, seamlessly intertwining to represent The World Games in Chengdu’s essence.

“The panda bear, revered as a Chinese national treasure and adored worldwide, encapsulates the host country’s identity and cultural significance. Integrating the panda’s face into the logo establishes a strong connection to Chengdu whilst evoking a sense of familiarity and affection among audiences globally.

“The Chinese knot, symbolising unity, prosperity and luck adds depth and meaning to the design.

“The arrows, expressing internationality, convey the scale and convergence of diverse cultures. They symbolise the shared journey towards athletic excellence and camaraderie.

“This combination effectively represents the spirit of the Games, Chengdu and the rich traditions of China. I hope that it captures the values of unity, diversity, and cultural heritage while also being visually appealing and memorable, making it a fitting representation of the Chengdu World Games in 2025.”

I’m no fan of open calls for design submissions, because as designers our ideas are our most valuable product. And in this case it’s particularly harsh when the contest terms seemingly rule-out the ability for contributing designers to showcase their work (albeit with some ambiguity). Pro bono would always be my preferred way for designers to freely offer their ideas (something I recently commented on in a piece for Readymag about free pitching).

Regardless, sincere congratulations to John Fairley for his winning design. Having seen his presentation deck I doubt there were many submissions with same amount of detail and depth of thought.

About The World Games 2025

The twelfth edition of the multi-sport event will be held between 7–17 August 2025 in Chengdu and will feature no less than 35 sports, 61 disciplines and a total of 254 medal events. Among others, the sports include korfball, lacrosse, tug of war, billiards, and drone racing.

More from John Fairley.

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