What this is about
JETAA, or the JET Alumni Association, is a network of alumni groups across the globe. Pittsburgh has a small chapter, and I’m the president.
We were long overdue for a logo refresh. This was a labor of love, combining iconic imagery from two places near and dear to my heart.
(All the sketches and digital design work are mine.)
About the JET Program
Short for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, the JET Program is one of the largest cultural exchange program in the world. Run by the Japanese government, it places participants in primarily rural and suburban placements as employees of local government offices. There, they serve as grassroots cultural ambassadors and assistant language teachers for 1-5 years.
This was collaborative from the very beginning.
I started by polling our chapter for their favorite iconic images related to Pittsburgh and Japan.
- three rivers
- cherry blossoms
- Mt. Fuji
Sketches, round 1: general investigations of pairing different elements with each other. I introduced several Pittsburgh landmarks and famous Japanese ukiyo-e images as well.
Sketches, round 2: a revised round on several of the concepts. The JETAA Pittsburgh community voted on these.
Top to bottom, left to right:
- three rivers and hinomaru
- torii Sister Bridge
- cherry blossom branch and three rivers
- Fort Pitt Bridge and torii (based off a Hokusai woodblock image)
- sacred camphor tree and three rivers
- Mt. Fuji and three rivers (based off a Hokusai woodblock image)
- Mt. Fuji and Sister Bridge (based off a Hokusai woodblock image)
- Mt. Fuji and Sister Bridge
Moving to digital
These were done in Sketch.
The community voted on the above. Two images came out as clear winners, but I made an executive choice to go with this one! (The red matched most other JETAA logos, and this was by far the most easily reproducible.)
Second place was the cherry blossom/3-rivers mash-up, which was honestly my favorite. I plan to use that as secondary imagery wherever possible.