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Architecture that's built to heal - Michael Murphy

New logo for the Japan Football Association

New_JFA_logo

Here in Japan, the Japan Football Association (JFA) has unveiled a new logo for the national team, and I'll say right off the bat that I like it.

Interestingly, Brand New showed a comparison between the new logo and an old logo, below, that isn't very prominently shown. And I'm glad it's not very prominent, because it's bloody awful with that incomprehensible font and vile green colour.

Even this explanation from the JFA about what the logo represented (Japanese only, sorry), didn't mention the horrible green thing, rather sticking to talking about the three-legged crow (more about that shortly) and that blue represents youth, while yellow represents fairness. Apparently.

 

JFA_logo_before_after_ugh
Image from Brand New

Anyway, most people, at least here in Japan, will be more familiar with the logo as it appears on the shirts for the national team, like so:

Japan-kit

And that logo wasn't bad at all. There was a rather solid serif font used for the JFA, complemented by a modern sans serif font for Japan, while the crow kept hold of the ball.

The new emblem tidies things up considerably and uses a new font throughout, which I like a lot. Instead of having things separated, it's all neatly put together without looking cluttered, and the ball is rendered in solid red which obviously references the Japanese flag.

JFA_national_team_logo_crest

And now to that crow. If you live in Japan, or have visited, your image of crows is probably that they are ubiquitous and have a tendency to scatter rubbish everywhere.

However, they feature prominently in Japanese mythology and the three-legged version is known as the Yatagarasu (八咫烏), which is mark of rebirth and rejuvenation and construed as evidence of divine intervention in human affairs. Given the state of the Japanese men's team of late, a bit of divine intervention wouldn't go amiss. The women, however, are still impressively still showing them - and the rest of the world - how it should be done, while very unfairly receiving far less money for doing so.

But back to the design of that crow. The new iteration looks more rugged than the previous, slightly droopy-beaked version, and it's a nice update.

Last, but not least, the video to announce the new logo. These things generally make me cringe, but I couldn't help smiling while watching this.

I work with kids, and loads of them - both boys and girls - love football. They're generally supported by their families, and the atmosphere at football matches here is boisterous, fun and friendly, which is in stark contrast to some terraces in Europe.

I'm a bit on the fence about the mum washing the shirt, but the rest avoids being too cloying, pretentious or heavy-handed, as these things all too often can be.

Okay, one more thing. Here's another quite nice video that shows how the logo and branding process happened and, I think you'll agree, it looks tidier and more cohesive.

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