If you owned an airline, would you want its logo – aimed at America and most well-developed destination countries it flies to read from afar or just in print as “ANAL”
By: Jeff Koopersmith, Editor Emeritus – American Politics Journal
WASHINGTON, DC – SUNDAY, 8 SEPTEMBER 2019: This is an essay about a logo. It is an introduction to the enormous complexity of advertising, public relations, strategy, and targeting for the election of a political candidate. Here I write about a Logo that we tested to see how people might pronounce it. It is the logo of All Nippon Airways, a Japanese company. Yet many thought the name of the company was Anal? Imagine what it means to develop a strategy and the “look” of a presidential campaign – that tells only the truth?
ANA, All Nippon Airways, serving about 50 cities in Japan did just that. Who designed the Logo above is yet a secret that I cannot seem to unravel, yet even the most normal subjet of an 1100 responder poll we did in the USA thought this logo could label the company as Anal.
ANA as tests as the finest Airline serving Japan internationally alongside oldster airline Japan Airlines Company, Ltd. JAL, who used to fly me to Tokyo’s Waseda University to talk about American Politics long ago has also, long ago, seemed, as naming companies and everything else by initials (which should have been JAC or Japan Airlines Company, Ltd. JACL which might pronounce as JACKAL. Thus JAL did the best thing choosing “J” for Japan, “A” for Air, and “L” for Lines? Not Bad, but not great.
ANA was smart in one way – it did not use its Japanese name part “Nippon” on its planes – most likely because of racists in the West and others who won WWII called Japanese peoples Nips during and far after that war. JAL, of course, did not use the English word “Japan” either for similar reasons and one other – Japan is not called Japan in Japan – it is called either Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku (日本国) and, both have the same spelling. That name came from The early Mandarin Chinese or perhaps the Wu Chinese word for Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu China because Japan was not yet a nation just a part of the Chinese region with different types of people living there.
Yet it gets more interesting because Nippon and Nihon literally mean “the sun’s origin”, or where the sun originates, and are translated as the Land of the Rising Sun all the time. This nomenclature comes from Imperial correspondence with the Chinese Sui Dynasty and refers to Japan’s eastern position relative to China as is – again an ancient Chinese development. In fact, the foundation of the two words Japan and Nippon is even more complicated than this. For instance, Nippon and Nihon are spelled the same in Japanese writing.
So why didn’t JAL call itself Nippon Koku Lines or Nihon Koku Lines? We might never know. A part of the reason is that JAL’s logo, which I like far better was designed, of course, by an American.
The Japan Airlines Logo is an image of a Japanese red-crowned crane with its wings extended in full flight and was created in 1958 by Jerry Huff, the creative director at Botsford, Constantine & Gardner of San Francisco, also its ad agency for many years prior. It is an image of a Japanese red-crown crane with its wings extended in full flight. The Tsurumaru JAL logo by Huff makes it even more interesting – what was Tusrumaru? You check, I know it’s a character in a story or game, a baby or lore, and a boys name in Japanese, and also a Restaurant in California! I think it has something to do with a crane and also it means that someone named Tsurumaru never gives up on anything! I am probably wrong or my sources are.
Yet I digress.
Back to ANA Nippon, now the favored airline in Japan and worldwide from and to Japan. The real incentive for the ANA logo could be the first “A” meaning ALL – ANA serves so many cities in Japan – perhaps all of them worthy of an airport?
I yet believe that ANA should change its Logo and I experimented:
Thie above is the actual ANA logo on each of their aircraft
Here I changed the blue and blue flag to the same height as the ANA font – this makes it worse.
ANA is a client of the Young and Rubicam Agency PLUS now known as Y&R for something I call “profession correctness”, nearly everyone knows the name Young and Rubicam -but if you told someone you worked for Y&R, 85% of the population who were not in the advertising biz, would have no idea who or what you were talking about – but they might ask. Y&R also owns a more “extreme” creative agency called VMLY&R. (quite a mouthful) However, Jason Xenopolous, North American chief creative officer, presided over a small but quite important change in the ANA image – although he allowed the original ANA logo above to remain, sorta. – watch this video – and you might want to see if your favorite Democrat or Republican Candidate should switch to VMLY&R for the 2020 presidential election which would be a small customer for this huge ad agency et alia. SEE THIS VIDEO ad produced by famed music video director Phillipa Price via Jason’s shop – The first one: https://adage.com/creativity/work/ana-japan-elevated/2146821 You will be impressed and see if you notice the small addition to the ANA logo – its terrific.