Business

Iconic Shibuya 109 building launches ¥1.09 million design contest for new logo

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

The operator of a landmark shopping center in Tokyo’s famed Shibuya district is holding a contest to design a new logo as it prepares for a fresh look.

Shibuya 109 Entertainment Co., operator of the Shibuya 109 building, the iconic fashion center popular with female teens, started accepting logo ideas Wednesday.

The contest is open to anyone and applicants can submit as many designs as they want via mail, email or Twitter until May 20.

The winner, to be revealed in July, will receive ¥1.09 million. The three runner-ups will get ¥109,000, the company announced.

According to the rules, contestants must submit two patterns — a logo and a logo accompanied by the cylindrical 109 building. “SHIBUYA” must also appear, capitalized and in English, and “109” must be included as well. The winning logo will be installed next year.

The current logo has stood since 1989, when the building changed its name from Fashion Community 109 to Shibuya 109.

The company wants a new logo to refresh the building’s image because the lifestyles of the young have changed and diversified in recent years, said Akina Yamamori, a Shibuya 109 Entertainment spokeswoman.

Before the widespread use of the internet and smartphones, fashion was their primary medium of expression. But young people have more options now, such as social networking services, she said.

“We hope to keep attracting young people and in order to do that, we need to re-express ourselves to send a message that we will always be with them,” Yamamori said.

The building will also be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year, another reason why its owners are searching for a new look.

To lower the bar for participation, the company is releasing a smartphone web service called 109 Logo Maker that allows applicants to dream up a logo and submit it through Twitter.

More information can be found at (Japanese only): 109logo.jp