I Like Bandai Namco’s New Logo

I Like Bandai Namco’s New Logo
Image: Bandai Namco

Last year, Japanese publisher Bandai Namco announced that it was doing away with its logo, the same one it had used since the two formerly separate companies had merged all the way back in 2006.

“Our current logo expresses the fusion of Bandai and Namco that was created when the two companies integrated”, a statement said back in September 2021, explaining why for 16 years one of the world’s biggest video game publishers has had a logo that was basically two coloured blobs smooshed together.

The new logo revealed was less cooperative, “[reflecting] our new purpose” as a single company. It swapped out the blobs for a Nintendo-esque border, and the sunset colour palette was replaced with black and pink.

Image: Bandai NamcoImage: Bandai Namco

It was not well received, which perhaps explains why we’re only seeing the logo appear on the company’s products now, over six months later, and with some changes having been made. The pink border has been replaced with a red one:

Image: Bandai NamcoImage: Bandai Namco

Which in some ways is a clearer callback to the old Namco days, and in others makes it look like a street sign. Which in turn makes me think of:

Image: Untitled Goose GameImage: Untitled Goose Game

But whatever! I still like it, despite the amount of shit it is getting from folks. Firstly because it’s a clear improvement over the old logo, which was horribly dated and looked more like something you’d see in a model train shop (which, given Bandai’s history in the scene, was maybe the point!) or as the logo of a 2000’s kid’s TV show.

The new one is clearer, easier to scan (street signs are designed like that for a reason!) and I particularly like the little “speech bubble” hook in the corner, which breaks things up. Here’s how Bandai Namco explain that little quirk:

The new logo’s speech bubble motif, “Fukidashi” in Japanese, expresses the potential of the brand to connect with people around the world and inspire them with amazing ideas. The speech bubble also represents Japan’s manga culture that has become so popular everywhere. The logo stands for our determination to communicate with fans worldwide, to connect with our fans, and to create entertainment unique to Bandai Namco. The magenta used as the motif colour not only represents diversity, but also creates a bright and fun impression and is easy to reproduce.

Like I said, despite the old-ish announcement this is only just starting to roll out now, so anyone picking up, say, a late copy of Elden Ring will be seeing the new logo instead of the old one:

One more thing before we go: if the official corporate offering is not to your liking, maybe this amateur take, which leans more heavily on the past, is:

Comments

  • The biggest problem that I have with the logo is the horribly capitalised and practically meaningless slogan below, “Fun for all Into the Future”. I’m pleased to see that this hasn’t made its way onto the actual packaging.

    Visually the speech bubble hook works, ish. As the article says, it effectively breaks the line and kinda plays as a meteor tail for a bit of dynamism. Ultimately, however, I can’t unsee this as a speech bubble and frankly, why anyone would just say “Bandai Namco” and leave it at that is… perplexing. Well, at least that makes it memorable?

  • Agree about the slogan, wouldn’t be surprised to see it included and animated on digital activations or on their generic advertising only. Your literal take on the speech bubble motif is interesting though, logos are generally meant to be abstraction of what the company represents.

    I do have an issue about how it’s applied to the updated Elden Ring cover though, that white background and white border. Usually you would only do that as a last resort, do they not have a version of the logo for use on a dark background? Looking at how they applied their old logo was similar though, so it could be their preference.

    That amateur logo is a bit of a mess, it could probably be tidied up to look decent but not great as it stands, was surprised to see so many people signing it’s praises in that reddit link…

    • The amateur logo is horrible. It’s dated, with a kind of Back to the Future movie vibe, it’s too busy, the scale of the text is weird relative to the linework, the changing capitalisation makes no sense, the font is barely high schooler scribble, and the perspective/not perspective thing makes it look mangled. It’s a badly drawn isometric lollipop.

      On the other hand, the white border thing is very standard. You see exactly the same detail on the PS5 and ratings stickers on the same cover. The white border is effectively just a drop shadow that disappears over light backgrounds while ensuring that the logo isn’t lost against dark ones.

      You wouldn’t normally see a light/dark background versions where a logo is likely to sit over artwork because if the logo appears more than once, such as two products from the same company sitting adjacent on a shelf, you’re just going to make everything appear inconsistent. And it’s just easier just to have one logo and not have arguments about what to use if the logo needs to sit over a mid-tone or mixed tone background.

  • Well I wouldn’t put its horribleness at the level of Patreon’s logo redesign, but it’s definitely more souless than the Pringles logo redesign, so hats off to Bandai Namco for that feat, I guess…

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