Logo design is an essential part of branding, and for reputable brands, every variation and design tweak has a purpose and meaning. So it’s understandable that the photography world is now brooding over a mysterious new Nikon logo that the company has just trademarked in Japan.
It’s by no means the most sophisticated or attractive logo design. Actually it’s pretty ugly. But the big question is, why is that? It shows a camera in the shape most commonly used to display video, surrounded by an arrow made up partly of broken yellow lines. The usage descriptions in the application are very vague and create even more fascination. Could it mean we have a new device to add to our best cameras list?
Could it be a logo design for a new line of video or vlogging cameras, or even a 360 camera? Maybe a new video editing software or video playback feature? Speculation in online photo communities is intense. Logo trademark application number 2023-006460 was filed with the Japan Patent Office (opens in new tab) on January 24th and is currently “under review”. It was noticed and made public by the Nikon Rumors (opens in new tab) Website.
Logo trademark applications are often intentionally very broad in their language, partly to avoid revealing anything to competitors and partly to protect as many potential uses of the logo as possible to prevent someone else from getting there first. Nikon’s application is no exception, with cameras, photographic machines and apparatus, cinematographic machines and apparatus, an image inspection device, and an image processing function with application software, image processing computer software, and smart cameras being just some of the uses listed.
That doesn’t help narrow the mystery, but one person commenting on Nikon Rumors has connected to Nikon Creates (opens in new tab)– the new video production subsidiary Nikon announced last April, which appears to be an attempt to enter the volumetric content creation space (volumetric capture uses multiple cameras and sensors to create a full volumetric capture of the subject).
So it makes sense that the new logo could be for Nikon Creates Corporation, which represents their focus on video for the entertainment and advertising divisions. And it is expected that this move will lead to the company developing new hardware, for example perhaps a 360-degree video camera.
On the other hand, the circular arrow looks similar to the kind of symbol we associate with recycling, and some have pointed out that many companies are trying to find their own teeth in the burgeoning used technology market or circular expansion initiatives develop efficiency of their devices.
Nikon has issued a save-the-date for March 25th. Many think the headline announcement will be the rumored Nikon Z8 camera, which is said to be smaller and more affordable than its flagship Z9 (see below), but there’s only a chance we could get some clues as to the significance of this mysterious one logos.