Nendo‘s logo for the Japan Association for University Athletics and Sport (UNIVAS) features symbols including a dove for sportsmanship and a chessboard to symbolise strategy arranged in a manner similar to a western family crest.
The logo’s shape will be extruded from aluminium and cut in slices to create medals and longer forms to be trophies.
UNIVAS was founded in 2018 to take a supervisory role over different universities and sports in Japan, following the model of the National College Athletic Association in the US. Nendo designed the logo to reflect this western influence while including Japanese symbology.
“The logo was designed aiming to convey multiple messages, combining Japanese and western culture, tradition and youthfulness,” the studio said.
The logo, which looks like a stylised version of a western crest, combines five different symbols on a shield divided by lines formed by the Japanese sign for university.
The mind is represented by candle lights to express discipline and compliance; technique by a chessboard symbolising strategy and skills; physical strength by “a courageous and physically powerful lion”; knowledge by a book that stands for academia, and virtue by a dove that symbolises sportsmanship and peace.
Nendo also designed the trophies and medals for the yearly UNIVAS awards. These were made through cutting an extruded aluminium bar of the logo shape into different sizes.
“As the design intent, ‘tradition’ being passed on from the past to the future is expressed in the form of extrusion molding method, and the ‘unity and bond’ with everyone involved, including teammates, instructors, and many supporters, is represented by the share of a single object to award not just the individual,” the studio said.
First prize winners get a trophy bar that measures 300 millimetres, while this is cut down to 210 millimetres for those winning second prize. The medals consist of thin slices cut from the bars and hung on a ribbon. The trophies come in gold, silver, bronze and navy blue, UNIVAS’ signature colour.
UNIVAS hands out 16 different awards, including the UNIVAS Cup, each year. Its members are 221 universities with sports teams, as well as 35 affiliate associations, such as student groups.
In a similar vein to Nendo’s medals, Philippe Starck designed the Paris 2024 Olympic medals as four stacked pieces that can be shared
As a multidisciplinary studio, Nendo’s work covers a wide range of areas, with recent projects including a concept for a smartphone that folds down “like an inchworm” to the size of a credit card. The studio also designed a showroom with a dimpled marble facade for Italian marble brand Marsotto.
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