japantown bannersSAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Japantown, one of three remaining Japantowns in the U.S., announced on May 29 a new logo and banner for its community, made possible through the generous funding by the Mayor’s Invest in Neighborhoods program and Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

It was perfect timing, as the Japantown Cultural Heritage and Economic Sustainability Strategy (JCHESS) was adopted last year, that a new logo and banner that reflects a marketing recommendation in the JCHESS be created. This rebranding effort was coordinated in cooperation with the Japantown Task Force (JTF) and the Japantown Merchants Association (JMA).

The Request for Qualification process began in late 2013 when graphic designers were invited to come up with a new logo and theme. The final selection followed a series of meetings and eventual selection of the new logo by the JMA members.

“It is one that retains the iconic Peace Pagoda that everyone associates with San Francisco’s Japantown along with the cherry blossom theme,” stated JMA President Richard Hashimoto. “The design is one that will draw attention to the neighborhood, including the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, which is Japantown’s largest event each year and one of the biggest Japanese American festivals on the West Coast. It is said to be the second -argest in the nation and was voted one of the ten best in the world.”

According to Robert Hamaguchi, executive director of the JTF, “We were able to produce new banners to demark the core business area of San Francisco Japantown thanks to funding from the Mayor’s Invest in Neighborhoods program. The funding includes an order for some extra banners to replace any that may get damaged by the wind or some other accident as the new ones will probably need to last for some time. The new look will be one that we envision will endure for some time.”

The basic design will be reflected on future S.F. Japantown promotional material. All businesses and organizations that operate within the borders of Japantown and are developing new marketing or informational material are encouraged to use the new community logo.

The JMA is a non-profit organization that encourages business traffic within the Japantown area and provides a variety of services for business owners. It is a coalition of more than 90 businesses and community-based organizations.

The JTF is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation focused on the planning, economic development, and preservation of Japantown.

For more information and access to branding guidelines, contact Greg Marutani or Greg Viloria at (415) 346-1239 or email info@sfjapantown.org.

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