Feature Design FIFA Communication Design
Feature Design FIFA Communication Design

Keeping pace with changes at Sony

Yamaguchi: In 2009, the Sony Group introduced a new brand message, make.believe. As an underlying theme in technology and products dedicated to this ideal, we're focusing on 3D. We'll be offering the excitement and feeling of "being there" at matches on a more realistic level. It's a fitting contribution from Sony to FIFA and fans everywhere, and we want people to know the advantages of 3D. One task we faced was adapting the 3D logo and other new elements for use in communication design. With the FIFA World Cup in South Africa drawing near, we needed to act quickly.

Ishida: 3D is promoted by a square logo with the words 3D world Created by Sony. Adapting this logo for rectangular perimeter boards meant that we had to reassemble the elements of the logo design. We also had to ensure the logo would be clear and legible in a range of viewing conditions, such as on TV screens and at stadiums. But a more basic question was which image emphasize—the color bars we had been promoting so far, against a white background, or the black-backed 3D logo. This question demanded careful consideration, because millions of TV viewers would be watching.

At this point, after we prepared several design proposals, some designers at Design Center Europe and I flew to Frankfurt, where tests using an LED perimeter board were being conducted. Our purpose was to check logo design under conditions matching those of stadiums at the tournament. Each time a proposed logo was shown on the perimeter board, we filmed it with TV cameras like the ones used to cover matches. It was a matter of finding the best appearance; just the right text size and width for display on TV, just the right arrangement of elements in the 3D logo, and so on. Tune in for yourself and see the results during the games in South Africa.

The responsibilities and rewards of designing

Fukuhara: FIFA is not the only association for the sport. Regional associations include UEFA and CONMEBOL, and there are also national associations such as JFA in Japan. Sony has signed a partnership agreement with FIFA, but at the same time, Sony Europe supports UEFA, and local Sony Group members sponsor football associations in their countries. Because the scope of association activities and the nature of their authority vary, we had to take this diverse approach to sponsorship to ensure that Sony truly makes a difference for the sport.

Of course, our promotional design work involves many affiliated departments, creative agencies, and production companies around the world. Keeping our work locally attuned creative, even if these perspectives differ, and making sure Sony activities are unified calls for coordinators who work beyond national or organizational borders. And I think designers can demonstrate how valuable they are, in this regard.

Yamaguchi: By developing the visual identity of make.believe, 3D world Created by Sony, and other promotional elements, our design team supports Sony branding. It's our role and our responsibility to respond promptly to major changes—for example, when our brand message is redefined, or when a new business strategy (such as 3D) is enacted, as in this project. At the same time, we benefit from local insight around the world, and creative thinkers everywhere support us at the forefront of Sony communication design. We will continue to fulfill our respective roles as we work together. This arrangement is ideal in global communication design collaboration such as FIFA projects, and I think we have made it a reality.

Our work is not finished when the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa comes to a close. We'll be looking forward to many other FIFA tournaments, culminating in the 2014 Brazil World Cup. There will probably be new developments in areas and strategies Sony is involved in. We'll be responsive to these changes and ready to support communication activities worldwide.

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