In autumn 2015 Butterfly refurbished the rubber packages. It is an impressive circle motif against a black backdrop. The integrated design throughout the whole rubber line-up expresses the resolution that Butterfly will keep challenging the future with history in mind. New Packages have been created by collective efforts of Butterfly, Art Director, Rubber Production Team, Machinery Equipment Team and many others. Join us on an interesting excursion into the design philosophy of Butterfly.
A special feature by Tamasu Butterfly Japan
First step: new Logo
In spring 2014 Butterfly renewed the company logo with the opening of the World Championships in Tokyo, which was the first big logo change in 23 years.
The new wings logo symbolizes a now fully-grown Butterfly ready for taking off into the air.
“Imagine that the player is the flower and we would like to be butterflies flying around the flowers providing them with their essential needs.”
This motto by Hikosuke Tamasu, the founder of Butterfly, has been adopted over and over and dwelt inside employees throughout the ages; this thought generated SRIVER, the very turning point of table tennis history, made a revolution with BRYCE, the world’s first High Tension rubber, and brought out TENERGY by inventing the Spring Sponge technology.
We would like to provide players with better equipment; the responsibility and desire are the energies that have made Butterfly progress so far. To express such energy is what the art director of Butterfly aimed at in the new packages.
Fireworks and thoughts on design
It is fireworks that have been adopted as the motif of the new packages. Fireworks are full of explosive energy. They are beautiful when they explode individually as well as collectively shimmering in the night sky. We want to explode our individual and collective energies beginning at Butterfly in the center. We want to develop table tennis more. These are what the firework motif include: the intensions of Butterfly.
The firework design has one additional meaning. The pattern is presented by laying circles radiating numerous sharp edges; circles have conflicting natures of “stability” and “instability” at the same time.
A circle is a complete shape that shows steadiness and universality. On the other hand, it also has an unbalanced characteristic as a ball can roll in every direction. Butterfly must be a sincere and stable company that keeps producing reliable products as well as keeps changing, which is another meaning included into the firework design.
On top of that, the deep black on the back of the pattern represents the unknown infinite universe. It reflects the determination that they will believe in the infinite possibilities and keep challenging to the unknown fields.
Butterfly had spent a lot of time in experimenting and discussing before the design was completed. There were tens of design ideas that were turned down. Some of the ideas were rejected for not expressing the energies enough and others for lacking universality… It took more than half a year to solidify the final image in agony and more than a year to complete the details. That work was not only to pursue the beauty in the design but also to question themselves about the mission of Butterfly as a company.
Butterfly introduced an advanced printing technology and a high-spec packaging machine
The complete design is made surprisingly sensitively in details keeping the dynamic impression. Also, it adopts the hologram film onto the Butterfly logo in the center with these two purposes, its beautiful look and anti-counterfeit. Therefore, an advanced printing technology is required to print the new packages beautifully and properly, which was a big headache for the staff involved.
In the meantime, they got the information that there is an interesting printing company. They made a visit to the company and found it had the latest printing machines from Germany and very high-standard technology as well as enough experience and know-how in hologram printing which is difficult even for professional companies. One of the challenges was solved then. However, that was not the only challenge they must clear. The structure of the new package was also improved in addition to the design. The traditional packages were in folio but the new package each has its own spine. Therefore, the existing rubber packing machine was not compatible with the newly structured package.
Then the machinery equipment team introduced a new wrapping machine compatible with the new package, which was an original machine Butterfly produced from zero in collaboration with a machinery manufacturer. They made it possible not only to be compatible with the spine but also to automate some of the processes staff had done so far. The machine measures the rubber thickness in a moment and links the data automatically to the printings on the sponge and package.
The machine requires a very high precision as it handles delicate products: rubbers. However, such high precision machinery can be affected easily by unexpected factors; even a static electricity can be a cause of an error, for example. The machinery equipment team and rubber production department repeated improvements after test operations many times. They accomplished the best packaging machine in the history of Butterfly.
There are 40 rubbers in the Butterfly line-up at the moment. To standardise all the package designs keeping their own individuality as well as to improve the structure; that was the first ever project of Butterfly in its long history for 65 years.
What made it possible might be their passion and teamwork. Nobody of the team was the official member of the project, none of the staff in production division, machinery division or the staff who found the printing company. However, as the existence of the supporting members to cheer up is also important in the game not only the regular players, every Butterfly staff cooperated with each other in this project. It is because we are a group of people who love table tennis and conduct the corporate activities that we struggled as one.
If the performance and the quality are the substance of a rubber, the package is the face. It is said that the face of a person represents his/her inner face, so it might be the producers’ inner aspects if something is represented on the rubber’s surface.
People who are in charge of the development and production of rubbers must keep challenging the belief in infinite possibility, never being satisfied with the current situation and using the mission and passion as their source of energy. Butterfly puts their resolution into the design of the rubber packages.