Chelsea Almazan
Chelsea Almazan

San Japan

San Japan

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San Japan is a fast growing Japanese animation and culture convention in which fans come together for a three day weekend. Located at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in the downtown San Antonio area, San Japan will be hosting its tenth year of fun for all ages as people will cosplay, discuss anime, video games, and more.  Every year the convention has held a theme, however it never has had an official trademark as it heavily relies on the popularity of Japanese animation and gaming culture.   This year, San Japan   has set its  theme on role play gaming and adventure.


Due to consistent changing for San Japan by simply adding numbers behind it, designing a mark that fits with the convention theme while combining San Antonio to Japanese RPG Gaming and animation.  Secondary to branding a mark for the convention, social media is important as not many people are aware about this event. 


Cosplay (n.)  is the terminology for people who dress as characters from a given series or video game.  Not only do the people dress as closely to the character's outfit, but also act as the character in interactions with others. Due to the rise of the pop culture of these interests, the demographic of aged individuals attending the conventions range from ages 12 to 30 in both males and females.   Below are some examples of the cosplay community.


Looking through multiple design works through other anime conventions, there was a consistent look with each convention which was simplistic type treatments followed with an element of Japanese culture. For San Japan , it would be followed to not only be a part of these other conventions, but have it stand out with the integration of San Antonio and Japan in a visual way

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With the research given, San Japan X would be looked into with designs featuring a clean sans-serif with possible imagery that would combine San Antonio and Japan together.

When looking into how to create the work, the issue was trying to make sure the San Antonio of Americas wouldn't be mistaken to be the Space Needle in Seattle.  Also, because of how the Japanese like using European style weaponry in most of their games and anime fantasy /adventure, the sword would hold the upmost value and design especially as it is the most common item as the main character hero persona. 




Starting simplistic with type treatment of the Rising Sun of Japan, to the western cowboy in the rising sun were the first of many concepts brought onto the new look for San Japan. However, going further in, the idea was to incorporate the Tower of Americas with a Medieval sword to give a sense of the action taking place at the convention as well as matching the theme for the year.   


Logo / Type/ Color Palette

Finalized logo ended with the Tower of Americas Sword into the rising sun to marry the two ideas together into one.
The typography used for San Japan is Cinzel Bold and it was used because its edgy and unique in style, much like weaponry in Japanese gaming and anime. Gill Sans is the secondary for body text as it is readable.

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The badges for San Japan are generally split into three sections as follows: 

  1. Attendees

  2. Guests

  3. Safety Volunteers

When looking at designing the badges, San Japan had three original mascots for their convention which involved an armadillo, a longhorn, and a bat. However, over time, they disappeared, never to be seen again.   Utilizing the characters once more as emblems on a shield would be similar to a coat of arms while classifying a hierarchy of importance within the convention itself. 


Merchandise is an important aspect of conventions because this is where half of the income carries from as the attendee list grows each year. Buttons, shirts, and mugs are a commonality to be seen and sold about. 



Advertising for San Japan has a limited amount of advertisement as it only exists on a website and limited amount of social media. San Antonio is a big city and has space for print, therefore using it would be beneficial for both veterans of the convention as well as people who are new to the experience. These advertisements not only give you the basic information, but also play a bit on reality with the cosplay characters in random areas of town. 

Social Media

Social Media is an important factor nowadays when it comes to communication, especially among young adults. Using platforms like Instagram is a great way to spread the word. It is a win/win situation for the convention itself to have more coverage as it is for people who have either missed information or never heard of San Japan.