If you know me well, you'll know how much I love to learn. I love asking thoughtful questions and then having deeper discussions to help me understand a concept, someone's job, a new technology or product, and so on. So when I tell you that I now know more about logos and logo design than I ever thought I would, you can be certain that I'm not exaggerating.
To start out, let me address our old logo, which some loved, some hated. What makes the logo "good" is that it's aesthetically pleasing, it's very readable (you can tell it's a lion), and it's recognizable. However, it uses color gradients (shades of different colors throughout), doesn't look very good when shrunk down, isn't very versatile in its use, and looks "okay" on clothing.
On the business side, because there are so many colors and shades in that logo, it's considered a 5-8 ink print (different printers gave me differing estimates), which means that when we get t-shirts printed, we have to pay a much higher price because it requires the use of a lot of inks.
Long story short, it's a cool graphic, but not a great logo. We decided on the logo we did because it hit the mark on the key qualities that have proven to be hallmarks of a great logo.
Not so surprisingly, these things are often overlooked/ignored/not considered in the world of esports. Some of the qualities are:
- Simple, Clean & Readable
- Versatile - Can be used in many ways, sizes, formats, on merchandise, avatars, etc.
- Colors - 3-4 or less, and have bi-color and single color options
- Appropriate - Meaning it's not overlay violent or 'adult' in the esports world
Our old logo had some of the above, but definitely failed on the versatility and color fronts. And remember, the above is only a small number of traits that make a great logo, but those are traits that almost all great logos have. I was also surprised to learn that a lot of organizations choose the same colors-- in fact, something like 1/3rd of companies use blue, and almost 1/3 use red... kind of a snoozer, and that helped shape the decision to keep our main color theme.
Another key thing to remember is that the logo isn't the end-all-be-all. The real value of the logo is what it comes to represent, as Michael Beirut puts it "[logos are] empty vessels in a way, and you pour the meaning into them". (Who is Mr. Beirut? The designer behind the logos of United Airlines, Billboard, Hilary Clinton's campaign, Verizon, and countless other major brands.)
Okay, now to the good part-- our NEW logo. I'm super excited to have this finally in place, and the decision making process itself was quite draining. Not only does this logo hit the mark on the items above, its versatility is awesome and it looks incredible on in game items and on merchandise, which can be the difference between no sales, some sales, and a lot of sales (hopefully the latter, be sure to get yourself some Selfless merchandise ASAP).
This logo still maintains a clear image of a lion, but also combines a new element, the "S", which works as a great logo on its own and can be used in cases where image size becomes a constraint. The additional versatility comes with the ability to color, or not color, all of the various elements of the logo itself. Check these versions out:
So if you have questions on a logo or are considering a new logo/redesign and you have questions, I can confidently say I can personally provide you some accurate guidance. It's worth spending the time to learn, to ask questions, and to test some things out.
One other major lesson I learned through the process was that traditional graphics designers who normally do stellar work, will likely fail when it comes to creating a logo. It seems to truly be its own "art" in that respect. As a non-graphics person myself, I didn't realize just how separate this skill is from other creative graphics work.
I'd like to give a special thanks to the amazing people involved for their long (sometimes grueling I'm sure), hard work on this logo. They do great work out there, and if you're in the market for a new logo, these are the guys to reach out to.
Now I'm also very excited to announce that we finally have our own merchandise store online, and are, as of this moment, taking pre-orders on a few items. Thank you in advance for your support, and for everything that you guys have done and continue to do to show us love. I could never thank you enough.