Japan is known worldwide for the quality and award-winning potential of its competitive skaters. The Japan Skating Federation (JSF) is the governing body for speed skating, figure skating, and short track skating in the country.
As its centenary approached in 2029, JSF had grown stale, could not grow members or excitement, and suffered from low public awareness. We were asked to unify, optimize, and reinvigorate its brand.
With the slogan SKATE FORWARD at the heart of our branding, we associated skating with excitement and future-focused momentum. We created emblems for each competition to express the desire of athletes to keep moving ahead.
Our visual design emphasized speed and blades, suggesting a skater slicing through wind. The logo also evokes the Japanese character for “ice.” We used gold and dark navy (traditional Japanese colors) to give it force and a sense of victory.
Our first criteria were that the symbol must be professional, confident, and memorable. All involved must be proud to wear it. In addition, it encapsulates skating at a glance so that the sport is immediately recognizable.
Incorporating a Japanese symbol means domestic audiences will “read” it and understand it, whereas foreign audiences will associate an abstract snowflake design with the sport. Its delicacy and modernity make the design leap out from other club and sport badges.
We gave JSF not just a new look but presence in the market, a new, outward-facing set of messages and aspirations, and a compelling common goal. Within a month we had 30,000 views. Already the brand feels renewed and reinvigorated. Japan, which is closely associated with ice sports, seems to have accepted and taken to heart the new look and energy. We expect it to propel the sports and country to new success.