Graphic designer,Yusuke Omae,talks about how he views the pitch as a logo design gallery.
I’m a big fan of company logos. Logos are the epitome of good design in my eyes. Whatever trends that come along, they reflect them. When I see one belonging to an oversea’s company especially, I feel like a teenage boy with a crush. To say my heart starts pounding would be an understatement. One of the reasons I got into business logos was through football. The football kits of oversea’s clubs to be precise.Very sadly however these pieces of design history displayed on the fronts of football shirts, are often so under appreciated, and probably go unnoticed by most fans. Even though for the clubs themselves, the logo carries with it a very necessary source of capital, and for the company, the shirt is a very necessary way of getting them in front of the eyes of the international media. It’s a typical ‘win win’ agreement. The days when players of Manchester United had their chests emblazoned with Vodafone, (thinking about it, aah the Sharp era too), the logo of Orange appearing in France Ligue 1, the sight of the shirts in those days sent tidal waves of excitement through me. Lying awake at night thinking ‘who do these logos belong to?’, and not sleeping until I’d found the answer. Then there was that Helvetica font. The impact of the orange letters. In an instant I was under the spell of that team. That team being Reims. Even though I had no real reason to have any connection with that region of France, because of their shirt and the logo on it, there I was awake at night, enchanted by them. In recent years, it would be hard not to miss the fact that a few Middle Eastern airlines have become sponsors of several top clubs from various leagues. At first, that feeling of excitement ran through me again. This wave of new logos taking centre stage, appearing on the chests of great players.
However, as these airlines and their logos began to play Monopoly, this feeling began to diminish. The disappointment I felt at this sponsorship strategy. These logos collecting clubs from each league in each country, as if they were collecting stickers for a world cup album. This feeling is like the yawn I let out when walking down the street in any prefecture of Japan, to see the same ‘Brand X’ supermarket dominating the skyline. Just when I thought it was all over however, then came Paris Saint Germain FC and their new shirt to save the day. Carrying this eye-catching, and in my case, breath-taking logo - Ooredoo. Whilst the exquisite font didn’t give me any big hints as to where it had originated from, these rounded letters had given me that giddy feeling again. Enough to forget the tedium, and look up where on earth this beauty had come from. My late night investigations turned up a mobile company from Qatar, who had seemingly invested some capital into PSG. The power of the kit and its ability to catapult a logo and its owner into the big wide world, is also being harnessed by Japanese companies. Through football, these slightly estranged from the rest of the world businesses, are getting attention for their logos from other countries. What has become such an everyday item for most Japanese households, the overlooked logo of Kirin now appears on the training wear of Japan’s national team. Every time the Samurai Blues step out in front of the world’s media for a training session, the number of people outside of Japan craving for a can of this cool crisp nectar grows no doubt. On the other hand, the power of a logo on a kit can surely help to increase the exposure of a team. Thanks to the sponsorship deal between Nintendo and Kyoto Sanga FC, I wouldn’t be surprised if gamers from around the globe, hadn’t adopted Sanga as their own. Drooling after the uniform that carries the Chinese characters spelling out this great name, and the banners featuring the famous Italian car-racing brothers. Again, it can be a ‘win win’ situation in many senses. Through football, I have come across many great examples of business logos and thus great pieces of design. These kits are not to be thought of as just signboards or just advertising. Through these shirts and the names they have printed on them, there is much to be appreciated.
NOTAM KOBE 店主 / NOTAM KOBE shopkeeper