Great games connect with players. So do great gaming logos.
In 2018, the gaming industry generated close to $135 billion, a 10.9% increase over 2017 with 47% of the industry’s revenue coming from mobile accounts. That’s a lot of opportunity, but also a lot of competition. Your logo is your company’s face. It’s what easily lets players scanning the shelves of a store or scrolling through an app store know if the game is something they might want to slow down and check out. If done well, your logo will be recognized as a symbol of quality, and can help quickly build a relationship fans.
What makes a good gaming logo?
When it comes to logo design, the gaming industry is a bit on the complicated side. Companies have logos, and often times so do the individual games they make. (In the world of mobile games, individual game logos are starting to be replaced with app icons.) That’s an important distinction for indie game creators to keep in mind. What does your brand stand for as a whole? What is the flavor of this game (which is, in essence, a sub-brand)? And how do they relate to each other?
As a whole, both the video and board game industries tend to favor bright, primary colors in their logos. They are also predominantly wordmarks
While bold palettes have been the popular choice, your game can stand out if you choose something unconventional, just make sure if you choose pastel orange that this reflects your brand identity.
Is it set in a particular period of time? What are the qualities of the persona of your player? Are children, teenagers or older players your target customers and community? All of these things can help you select the right font and shape for your logo. You want your logo style to make it clear what type of game the player is getting, but also be distinctive enough to remember.
Amazing ideas for game and gaming logos
Now, let’s break down how to visually define yourself through different types of logos.
Fun and comical gaming logos
If you’re drawn to goofy characters, want to elicit a carefree atmosphere, or play around with brighter color tones and palettes, finding a more upbeat and comical logo design might be right up your alley.
Story-driven game logos
Conceptualize your fantasy world through the most vivid features in your logo, whether you imagine that be simplistic or complex. Let your audience know how otherworldly things can be.
Tech-focused gaming logos
As one of the more individualistic logo categories, perhaps even the most, tech-focused design has the strongest ability to communicate exactly what you’d like to convey through clear symbols and a mechanical aesthetic overlay.
Modern and minimal gaming logos
If your intention is to attract diverse audiences and appeal to a sophisticated audience, keep your logo poised and adaptable through a minimal eye where your highest priority are the essentials.
Fierce and badass gaming logos
You mean business and can communicate that indestructible spirit directly through your logo. Rebellious details and ferocious characters are destined to leave a permanent mark on anyone who sets their eyes on your design.
The fundamentals of logo design
Logo design is a nuanced specialization of graphic design that encompasses aesthetics, branding & marketing, composition, color theory, typography and artistic skill. We give a fuller introduction to the craft in our free online guide How to design a logo, but here we’ll summarize some key points to provide a little background.
Design for your brand. There’s not one “best type of logo”—the most successful logos are the ones that best represent their brand. SEGA has stayed true to its nostalgic, retro-futurist lettering, while companies like EA Games continue to run with their corporate-heavy identity. Though these two examples are well known to people even outside of the gaming community, aspiring to create an image as recognizable is in your best interest.
So before anything else, you have to consider the visual identity of your game or player —your “brand identity.” Is your community full of young players or should it appeal to an older crowd? That will guide your design choices, in particular colors, shapes and letters.
Colors, shapes and letters. Each different color and shape represents different emotions—for example, logos with excessive black seem more sophisticated, logos with a lot of circles seem friendlier etc. Likewise, that extends to font choice, such a formal serifs vs. casual sans-serif. Every design decision reflects on your brand, so build your brand identity from the ground up with strategic choices.
How to get a logo
As we explained in a previous guide How to create a logo: Comparing the best ways to get a logo designed, a company has four main options for getting a logo. Let’s briefly review them now:
- Logo maker (DIY). With the help of a logo maker or other entry-level design software, you essentially make your logo yourself from scratch.
- Hire a design agency. You hand off all logo design duties to a design agency and their suite of specialists, but the extra talent comes at an extra cost.
- Work with a freelancer. You can find a freelance designer to design your logo for you.
- Commission a design contest. In a design contest, you explain what you want in a briefing, including visual preferences and business goals. Multiple designers from all over the world then submit samples based on your briefing. From there, you simply pick the one you like best and start revisions. You only pay for the one sample you choose.
For starters, DIY and logo makers are only advisable under extreme circumstances, like if you have next to nothing in your budget. Your logo is an asset too important to skimp on, and considering how complicated logo design is, if it’s not designed by a professional, it may not be as effective as it could be.
From there, it’s a decision of both cost and preference. If your only concern is price, check out our Logo design cost guide for more detailed distinctions.
The strongest advantage of logo design contests—and the reason they’re so popular—is that it leverages the creativity of multiple designers, who come up with different ideas of logos designs you can choose from. If you’re still unsure what style and look is right for you, a contest has the benefit of experimentation—you may not know what logo design best suits you until you see some creative drafts from several designers.
If you already know what style and look you’re going for, your best bet is going to be working directly with a freelancer. You can browse designer portfolios to find the perfect match in terms of style and then work with the freelancer to get exactly what you’re looking for.
Are you ready to get an exciting gaming logo?
Finding your visual match is just as important as it is for Mario to save Princess Peach from her constant impending doom. Lure in a larger audience. Create hype around your characters. Take what you’ve already created to the next level through branding. Your game deserves it.