Blue is Sega’s image color the world over, but fans in different parts of the world see different things.
You could make an argument that Sega is the most American of the major Japanese video game developers. In addition to being originally founded by two American businessmen in Hawaii, Sega reached the pinnacles of its popularity during the 16 and early 32-bit eras by embracing an edgy attitude, eschewing the more traditionally wholesome aura most other Japanese game companies cultivated and earning it plenty of extra cool points among overseas gamers.
But it turns out that for many years Sega has been presenting in a subtly different but significant way inside Japan and abroad. This was recently pointed out by Yuichiro Kitao (@kit_p on Twitter), a veteran video game developer whose resume includes the battle system programming for Star Ocean 3 and Valkyrie Profile 1 and 2, plus more recent work on I Am Setsuna, Oninaki, and the Spice and Wolf VR project.
So what’s the difference? Sega’s logo has two different colors, one for Japan and one for the rest of the world.
▼ Japanese logo on top, international logo on bottom
北尾雄一郎/Yuichiro Kitao (@kit_p) August 23, 2019
This isn’t some creative color editing by Kitao, either. Go to Sega’s official Japanese site…
…and you’ll clearly see that the Japanese logo is a lighter shade of blue than the logo that appears on the company’s U.S. site.
It’s not clear why Sega goes with sky blue in Japan and navy blue elsewhere, though the lighter shade for Japan does mesh with the country’s lack of resistance to “cute” marketing, while the darker color lines up with the company’s bad-boy image overseas during its Genesis/Mega Drive glory days.
Kitao tweeted that he thinks few people are aware of the difference, and while he’s right, some who were already in the know claim the different colors being in use since the time of Sega’s Mark III Master System home console, which was released in Japan in October of 1985 and the U.S. the following September. Other commenters submitted their own photographic evidence, which shows that not only are the Sega logos different colors on consumer packaging…
Alejandro Álvarez (@Alexalvarez86) August 24, 2019
Segata S. (@Ryudo9) August 24, 2019
…but even on business documents and marketing manuals.
(@HI_Ricky) August 24, 2019
Between this and the hiding-in-plain sight secret code on Sega’s arcade bags in Japan, we’re wondering just how many more graphic design Easter eggs the company might hav hidden for us all to find.
Source: Twitter/@kit_p via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@kit_p
Insert images: Sega Japan, Sega U.S.A.
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