Best Team Logos in the Olympics (BTLOly) #14: Japan
A new logo countdown begins today, this time for the teams competing in the Winter Olympics happening right now in Sochi. The Olympics is officially 17 days long, and there’s 14 teams to go through, so let’s get this thing going…
There’s different things to take into account however, for this Olympic countdown compared to the BTLNHL countdown. The “logos” are not necessarily the official logos for any of the hockey federations of the countries. In fact, the Olympics does not allow the federations’ logos to be on the jerseys at all, so new logos, or team crests, had to be designed specifically for this short 2-week long tournament. As such, these are meant to be temporary logos to symbolize a country, so there’s different things to consider. Because of that, these analyses will not be as exhaustive as the posts in the BTLNHL countdown.
That being said, these logos are still symbolizing a country, so a certain amount of thought has to be put into their design. And unfortunately, last place has to go to someone, and it goes to the nation of Japan.
The main problem with this logo is that it feels very non-Japanese. It uses a traditional American collegiate slab-serif font, mimicking the traditional American international hockey jerseys…for whatever reason. Sure, they’re nice jerseys and the collegiate-style ‘USA’ is great, but how well does that represent the nation of Japan?
And that’s the other strange choice about this logo: why does it say ‘Japan’ in English when the Winter Olympics are taking place in a Russian country and it’s very unlikely that English countries to going to cover any of the Japanese hockey games? You could have the exact same logo, but with ‘Japan’ in Japanese characters and it would instantly improve it and make for a more unique and stylish logo. Using English and collegiate letters feels like a lazy and cheap design that doesn’t represent the country at all.
Other options? How about something playing on the imperial seal of Japan? Or some sort of cherry blossom design? Or the rising sun flag? Or a stylized version of the privy seal of Japan? Or anything that more closely connects the logo on the jersey with the people wearing it.
As for the colours, even that feels un-Japanese. Just make it red letters with black outlines and that feels a little more authentic to the simplicity of their red and white flag. Or overlay the flag within the letters, or the rising sun within the letter, or something a little more creative and thought-out. There’s just really no redeeming qualities with this logo at all.
For a logo crest for an international competition like the Olympics, it feels lazy and incredibly non-partriotic and as such, not very well thought-out, and deserving of last place.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below.