Before I get into the tender meat of this post, I'd like you to walk with me for a moment down memory lane. One of the hardest parts of creating a new product is giving it a name, a task made even more complicated by the fact that that name needs to look really, really cool. That name should tell the world everything they need to know about what that name represents.
With EpicDuel, this was especially challenging since I was the only artist. After seeing some of these initial logo designs, you'll probably wonder why Titan didn't fire me and just do all the art himself!
Behold my shame!
Check the blood splatter. So edgy!
I don't even know what I was thinking here. Maybe we thought the first design was "too boxy"?
Apparently, I thought logos should be impossible to read. Let the audience work for it, I say!
I still stand by my love for this design. It's awkward and hard to read, but it looks so DANGEROUS!
Even more so with awful Photoshop beveling!
Eventually, we reached out for more help. Titan had a friend in California who offered up some designs so for awhile, EpicDuel's logo looked like the boxy thing you see above.
Finally, we refined the concept to what you see above. This entire process took MONTHS and the input of several artists. At this point Charfade added a texture to convey the rugged, brutal nature of EpicDuel. This texture doesn't read well at all resolutions and increases file size in the game client so we don't always use this textured variant.
Onward to Beasts!
To created the logo for BioBeasts, we had even less time than the EpicDuel logo. Fortunately, we learned many lessons from the EpicDuel logo, and the creation of numerous other logos and titles for our various events and development phases.
We knew we wanted something that evoked a sci-fi action game about mutate creatures attempting to break out of a research facility. We also knew we needed a logo that could stand out in the mobile store. Bright, saturated colors and blocky fonts were tested, but we found the results a bit bland. Back to the workshop (sketchbook) we went!
Realizing that full-color mock-ups were slowing the process, Charfade decided to take her work to grayscale. At this early phase, logo shape was more important than color scheme.
To improve usability and readability of the logo, we wanted a compact, tech-y font without serifs. We tried many designs with altered typefaces and various orientations.
Some logo accents like beakers, flasks, and molecules were created and tested as design elements with varying results. Titan still raves about the beaker. The logo with the large hex was an early favorite.
Even more "outside-the-box" designs were attempted, including a fuzzy logo design with a prominent monster eye.
Charfade packed a few more sketchbook pages with explorations of various designs. Sometimes it's easier to hammer out designs with good, old-fashioned pencil and paper than with software and a digital stylus.
This bottom design attempted to combine a beast head and a custom, jagged, dangerous font.
I attempted some designs of my own in Flash. I find Flash to be a flexible, if quirky and temperamental, tool for sketching.
After gathering many other Artix Entertainment artists into the BioBeasts war room, we collected feedback on all of our designs up to that point. Many gravitated toward the hex design from one of the above sketches while others preferred the fun, playful appearance of the logo with the "Bio" made of goo and the furry "Beasts" with the monster eye. The above is a polished iteration of those designs.
After a further review with the BioBeasts team, including feedback from Galanoth and Artix himself, we attempted a few more designs to lock in the final logo. Even though this process took many days, we understood that a bold, clean logo was a crucial step in the new project.
Sometimes a design can come from an unexpected place. This logo was originally used as a placeholder by Charfade, but Titan saw enough promise to encourage her to iterate further. We all liked the cleanliness, the clarity, simplicity, and boldness. We saw the potential of the "O" in "Bio" to be used as an iconic element in the game.
In this final iteration, we initially liked the idea of color in the design, but the various color options we tried created problems in certain parts of the text, making certain letters uneven or oddly tapered.
I hope this was a good insight into the complex, lengthy, and unpredictable process of logo creation. Sometimes it's possible to lock in a design in a few iterations, but more often it takes weeks or months.
What other areas of game design would you like us to elaborate on in future posts? Let us know below!