How to Use an Anime Logo to Build Your Brand
Are you looking to use an anime logo for your brand? Wondering what the benefits of an anime-themed logo are? In either case, you’ve come to the right blog post.
There are a number of advantages to using an anime-themed logo, the biggest one being its appeal to diverse audiences.
We’ll show you what makes a logo “anime”, what types of audiences best connect with anime logos, and how to create one that looks good and turns heads.
But first, let’s begin by briefly discussing what anime is and what makes it so appealing.
You may have noticed that the word “anime” sounds similar to “animation,” and that’s because it’s a Japanese term for animation (and not just a smart play on words).
In Japan, anime means all different types of animated media, whereas outside Japan, it refers to animation originating from Japan, or animated series based on the popular Japanese anime style.
And what exactly is anime style? It’s often colorful, has vibrant characters, and is based on fantasy or sci-fi themes.
If you want to check out some of the most popular anime series, here are our recommendations:
– Castle in the sky (1986)
– Akira (1988)
– Ghost in the Shell (1995) (not the recent version with Scarlett Johansson)
– Cowboy Bebop (1998)
– Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
While you might think something as niche as anime couldn’t possibly be a profitable business, the numbers say otherwise. Revenue in the anime industry is expected to reach $36.26 billion by 2025. It’s a worldwide phenomenon that continues to grow every year with no signs of stopping.
One of the reasons Anime continues to grow in popularity is its ability to tackle hard subjects while retaining whimsical themes that are heavily based on fantasy and science fiction.
Plus, it’s often targeted at adults, which means the shows don’t shy away from violence, and often the episodes and the series finales are unpredictable to keep fans on their toes.
For example, shows like Attack on Titan have incredibly gory scenes, where giant Titans devour innocent people. At the same time, it manages to tackle issues such as the unfairness and tragic consequences of war—not something you’ll find in kid-friendly cartoons.
Note that in Western countries like the UK and US, many children of the ‘80’s-‘90’s watched anime TV shows growing up, such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon, and Dragon Ball Z. Now that many of these shows and more are available on streaming services, anime has not only become much more accessible, but also accessible to a wider range of audiences.
And due to its explosive popularity outside of Japan, anime producers like Tezuka are creating shows aimed at Western tastes and are looking more and more to advertise and sell their work abroad.
All of this is to say that anime is not just limited to Japan’s borders; it has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Anime dominates a lot of popular culture, so deciding to ride the anime wave can really work in your favor. Normally, we don’t advocate for using design trends as the basis of your logo, because trends tend to pass and quickly become dated—an association you definitely do not want to have with your brand.
However, as discussed above, anime has only continued to rise in popularity over the last few decades, indicating it’s not so much a “trend” as a genre that people connect with long-term.
In addition, the original generation of anime watchers has now reached adulthood, so using an anime-themed logo will tap into their nostalgia for the genre and subconsciously create a fond association with your brand the minute they lay eyes on your logo.
So, if you work in an industry that targets adults in their 30’s-50’s, you may want to consider giving your logo an anime update or even starting from scratch.
Also, one of the biggest advantages of using an anime logo is that you can anthropomorphize it (a long and complicated word that simply means giving human characteristics and traits to inanimate objects).
This allows you to add an extra element of emotional depth to your logo, by taking objects or animals—both of which carrying everyday associations—and then humanizing them.
Let’s take a look at how this works below.
Let’s break down some fundamental design elements that make up an anime logo. It doesn’t matter if your brand doesn’t have a mascot or a strong “anime” feeling; your logo may benefit from an anime boost, so take a look at some of the design tools at your disposal.
Icons are essential in anime, and they’re often integral to the storyline. That’s because in Japanese culture, symbols are thought to possess great power. This has crossed over into anime, as objects and items are often central to the plot—whether it’s a tool like the Poke Ball to capture wild Pokemon or a magical symbol that grants enchanting powers.
These abstract symbols are popular among anime fans, because they can be worn on t-shirts, phone cases, stickers, etc. In other words, these symbols look great in print, which is a huge draw for your brand (think business cards, product packaging, letterheads, etc.).
And, as anime symbols tend to be geometric, they can represent a strong set of values or character traits–creating a powerful emotional connection between your customers and your brand.
When creating your own anime icon, the psychology of logo shapes should be a key factor to consider. Decide whether you want to create an object, emblem, or symbol, and how it connects to your brand. Make sure to understand what message you want to send your audience, and find the shape or symbol that best sends that message.
Anime shows have very distinct typography and lettering styles to them. The show’s producers spend a lot of time perfecting the logo because they know how important it is to their anime identity.
One way to replicate the anime feeling with your logo font is to use cursive fonts that mimic the majestic sweeping strokes of Japanese calligraphy.
It’s a simple way to express yourself as an anime-loving brand and to help promote your business name. If your brand name is on the long side, shorten it to its initials (also known as a monogram logo).
Note that sci-fi is also a popular genre of anime; if you’re a technology brand, mimicking the geometric style of mech-anime can help boost your popularity with fans.
The world of anime is filled with memorable and charismatic characters that are instantly recognizable. Even if you’re not aware who Pikachu is, he’s insanely cute, and you won’t forget what he looks like any time soon.
Having your own mascot is an excellent way to make your brand instantly recognizable. Some of the most popular anime mascots are known for their crazy hairstyles, unique facial features like big eyes, or are even mechanical giants like the main character in Gundam.
In general, mascot logos act as a spokesperson for your brand, which allows people to put a face to your company. You can even go so far as to create a history and persona for your mascot to really make it come alive.
Let’s look at the example above for a coffee store. By giving the coffee cup eyes, we’ve made it seem human and gave it a life of its own (and isn’t it adorable!). We’ve taken a normal logo and created our very own mascot, which you can bet your audience will fall in love with.
You can also apply the ‘anime brush’ to regular people and animals, like in this Mipsy Cat Treats logo. Instead of a regular-looking feline, they’ve created their own anime-esque cat, which is way cuter than a regular kitten, and certainly going to turn a few heads.
Depending on your target audience, you can create a youthful, fun-loving anime mascot, or a grizzly, mature, serious one. It entirely depends on your industry and customer.
Today’s pop culture is pretty fluid and can change at a moment’s notice, but there are some genres like anime that look like they’re here to stay. The Pokemon franchise has been around for generations, and some of the older anime series is just as popular today as they were 30-40 years ago.
Franchises like Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Naruto continue to dominate, so why not take advantage of anime’s popularity?
By reading this post, you’ve unlocked three major design elements that you can use to create your own anime-styled logo to represent your brand—using anime-style icons, how to mimic anime fonts, and why you should create a mascot.
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