As we experimented with ways to sum up the UK and Japan in one single symbol, we wondered if we could find a typographic solution to what seemed a very tricky conundrum. We looked to see if we could take the letters for ‘UK’ and combine them with the kanji for Japan (Nihon). At first sight, this seemed almost impossible – we could see how it might be possible to combine the first kanji (which means ‘sun’) with a ‘U’, but the other character was much more challenging.
By spinning the characters in both languages left and right, we began to make some headway. But when we presented the ideas, we still weren't sure if we had twisted and turned the Japanese so far that it had become unrecognisable.
Luckily, even in our early versions, our Embassy clients were able to read the characters in both languages, and we had managed to find a genuinely bilingual symbol to sum up the collaboration.
From 2006-2009, the UK Japan symbol was used extensively on joint projects in both countries, and was also adopted by the Japanese government for similar projects in the UK.
Badges, T-shirts, and stationery. They all received the UK Japan branded treatment.
Of course, all the items printed and produced in Japan were beautifully made and printed and meticulously finished. Just the way it should be.
Here are more examples, and some of the graphic styles suggested within the design manual for designing posters and communication in order to echo the logo.