Entries for the logo design award for “J-Start-up,” a program organized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, were accepted from May 15th(Tuesday) to May 31st(Thursday).
This award accepted submissions from all over the world for the logo design that would become the emblem for the “J-Startup” project, a link-up between the private and public sectors to give focused support to 92 startup companies.
Despite the tight schedule of a period of half a month, we received 1,747 high quality submissions from both Japan and other countries. As a result of the judging by the executive committee as well as all the startup corporations, this design was chosen for the Grand Prix!
Creator: Daichi Takizawa
Concept: The symbol mark, named ‘J ship,’ was created with ①the needle of a compass ②a boat advancing overseas ③the “J” in J-Startup as its motifs.
Red is used as its color to symbolize Japan and innovation, and represents how “venture corporations developed in Japan will advance overseas through various routes (services and products).”
The logotype was modified based on Copperplate, a font that was born from the print during the copperplate printing era. By using a font that is deeply related to “printing,” which brought about a revolution of knowledge among humankind and became an indispensable technology, it represents the hope of J-Startup for new things to be accepted as culture, “from a fad to culture.”
The logomark expresses innovation and tradition through the two points elaborated on above.
As for the characteristic that caused it to be selected for the Grand Prix, there were opinions that the red that represents Japan as well as the mark that has the needle of a compass and a ship sailing out into the world as its motifs match with the image of Japanese startups setting sail overseas from Japan, garnering support from many people.
Multiple processes were conducted during the judging until this creation was selected. We will now introduce what went on behind the scenes.
Confirming the thoughts of related parties through the judging process
Submissions for this logo design were accepted through the “AWRD” platform as well as the design crowdsourcing service of “99designs” for both domestic and overseas entries online.
The judging process consisted of the first round, second round, and the final round which was conducted through event voting, and the creations were chosen after being scrutinized by many judges.
First round of judging: 25 entries selected at the “J-Startup” 「J-Startup」submission management office
For the first round of judging, all submissions were checked based on the judging standards for submissions. The creators’ passion and thought that they put in were apparent from the number of submissions and their high quality.
The theme this time was a logo mark that symbolized the project, attracted attention, and could get the viewer to tell that it represented the “J-Startup” project with a single glance. As it was rather general as a theme for logo submissions, this was a process in which each submission was questioned on whether it met the requirements.
After the first round of judging, which took a long time to complete, 25 pieces were selected out of the vast number of submissions and proceeded to the next round of judging.
Second round of judging: Selection of final nominations that would be put up for event voting
In the second round of judging, “J-Startup” recommenders and office members selected the creations that would be the final nominations.
Judging standards, beauty, and degree of completion were also important, but judging was also conducted from the added perspective of various components, such as how they could be used in the scenarios that were projected to take place in the future.
In the J-Startup program, plans had been made to set up J-Startup pavilions in domestic and international exhibitions, and specific scenarios of use were considered during the judging.
This time, instead of just the combination of logo design and concept, we also saw many creations that included proposals for exhibitions to various media such as domestic and international exhibition booths, name cards, the web, and pamphlets in their submission.
In the discussion, it also became a place where the project image of “J-Startup” that each person in charge had in mind from their perspective could be checked. What kind of progress was being imagined? What thoughts would the people who used it be thinking as they used it? What kind of scenes and uses would it be used for? Who would see it? Was the impression that the logo gave appropriate? What kind of direction would these logos bring the image of the project in? As a result of a passionate discussion, five pieces were selected for as the final nominees.
Which logo was worthy of being the emblem of the project? Of course, they had to meet the judging standards, but more than that, as they would be presented for event voting in the last round of judging, it was also a process in which the relevant parties were questioned on how this operation should be.
Lastly, the decision made through voting by startup supporters
The final round of judging was an event voting at the “J-Startup” Launch Ceremony held on June 11th.
A voting was conducted among 189 people consisting of startups, recommenders, and supporters who had attended the event, and to decide on the Grand Prix.
The five logo designs that progressed to the final round of judging were announced in the ceremony. We had everyone choose one piece and place their vote into the voting box in the event venue. The outcome was a voting percentage of close to 90%, from which the high level of concern the participants held could be observed.
For the voters = those who would be using the logo in the future, it is likely that by going through the process of making the decision by themselves, they would feel a close bond and sense of responsibility as “a logo to go forth together with.”
There is no doubt that imagining the thoughts of the startups, supporters and recommenders, who put it a vote during the final round of judging, will give the “J-Startup” project more life.
AWRD, an intersection for everyone involved. A platform where you can change yourself
“J-Startup” has people and corporations to recommend startups to the world, and public and private sectors to back them up.
Through this award, it is likely that the thoughts and hopes of many people came together with the logos as the intersection, and it became an opportunity for them to see “J-Startup” more relevant to themselves.
The logo that will become the emblem to support Japanese startups will increasingly make an appearance in various scenarios. We cannot help but look forward to the activities of startups in the future.
The award was also a way to confirm the thoughts of the organizers and relevant parties and have them come together as one through that process. In the future, AWRD will endeavor to provide support to connect to a new future through as a place for challengers’ talents and projects to meet.
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