Feature Design make.believe
[ 2010.8.10 up ]

A banner uniting the Sony Group

At IFA in 2009 and then at CES in 2010, Sony took the opportunity of international electronics shows to announce the group's first unified brand message to be used globally and unveil animated 2D and 3D logos. Meet the designers whose teamwork and enterprising spirit brought the logos to life.

Kouki Yamaguchi
Kouki Yamaguchi
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Senior Producer
Nobuhiro Jogano
Nobuhiro Jogano
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Designer
Daigo Maesaka
Daigo Maesaka
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Producer and Designer
Junichi Nagahara
Junichi Nagahara
Sony Creativeworks
Senior Designer
Manabu Fujiki
Manabu Fujiki
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Designer
Tomoko Ikeda
Tomoko Ikeda
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Assistant Manager

Making the new Sony vision visual

Yamaguchi:The statement make.believe is the first unified brand message used by the Sony Group internationally. But just what form should this message take? How should we introduce it? Answering these questions was the mission of our design team.

In the message, the dot plays a pivotal role in joining two different elements—make, representing action, and believe, a frame of mind. You could also substitute hardware and software for these elements. Besides manufacturing electronics (the "hardware" side of our business), Sony produces a wealth of content, including music, movies, and games (the "software" side). The dot in the brand message is the spark that brings the two elements together, the flash point when new value and experiences are created.

Just adding the Sony logo is not a compelling way to present these concepts. Instead, we thought of adopting an animated logo as our key visual for introducing the new brand message. Normally we finalize static logo graphics before considering how to animate them, but this time, we took the opposite approach.

We also knew that a new age is finally dawning in 3D video. Sony is united in supporting the move to 3D at all stages, from movie production to screening in theaters, from hardware to finished content. It seemed fitting to create versions of the animated logo in both 2D and 3D. But for us, this was an unprecedented challenge.

Turning light into 3D imagery—no easy task

Jogano:In the animation process, I began by creating a traditional 2D logo sequence. This appears at the end of Sony TV commercials, for example, where time is limited. In just 1.5 seconds in Japan and about twice as long overseas, the animated logo had to convey our brand message concepts accurately and memorably.

I chose the dot in make.believe as the focal point of the image. The sequence opens with curtains of light emanating from the center. Dazzling rays in two colors symbolize the two concepts of make and believe. The image resolves into a dot, and then the brand message appears. The organization and images are simple, because it was intended to be used by many group companies. No matter what Sony business the logo promotes, it must convey the message clearly and consistently. For this reason, an animated logo that's almost too simple was perfect.

The hard part was 3D optimization of the animation. Objects seem three-dimensional to us because of parallax, differences in focus, and other visual cues, but these cues are not available to us when the object is light. Is it even possible to make light appear three-dimensional? Fortunately, we could call on the resources of group companies Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony PCL. These companies have extensive experience in 3D movie production and technical consulting. Adapting our engineers' advice to suit our needs, we found a useful approach in design.

My solution was to sprinkle some points of light in the background (like a starry sky) and to add lens effects and rays of light. These objects become part of the image as a whole, making it look three-dimensional. 3D optimization was done at Sony PCL and checked using their 3D projection system. It was refined again and again, as we sought maximum effect from a minimal performance. Ultimately, I think we successfully retained the 2D appearance in an immersive 3D sequence worthy of the Sony name.

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