Are you obsessed with your favorite game? Whether you love Minecraft or spend your days trying to beat the newest Red Dead Redemption, you’re probably already familiar with gaming logos. You can learn a lot about logo design by studying the top ones and what they do right.
According to Statista, there are approximately 2.95 billion gamers in the world. Researchers predict the number will hit 3.07 billion by 2023. The industry grows steadily year over year. With such fierce competition, smart marketing tactics rule the day.
What can you learn by studying gaming logos? Unlike other types of emblems, they utilize color and three-dimensional effects. They’re often on the trending edge of design.
What Makes Good Gaming Logos?
The best gaming logos follow basic design principles but aren’t afraid to try something unexpected. Logos are part of our everyday lives. In one university study, three-year-olds correctly matched logos to products.
With the addition of online gaming, new releases drop daily. Sorting through all the noise to find the best logos isn’t easy. However, there are some that excel over others.
Well-designed visuals pull the customer in and leave an impression. They are distinctive enough to stand out from other logos in the same genre. Here are our top picks for the absolute best gaming logos around. We also share some thoughts on what you can learn from each.
1. The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda has multiple assets in the series. The game is about a female warrior with strength and cunning. The font used in the logo is reminiscent of superhero comic books with geometric serifs and strong lines.
The logo has a bit of a three-dimensional appearance, making it look like it’s jumping off the page. The game cover designers don’t always use red, but the same design repeats on each release, making this logo immediately recognizable.
One of the most popular gaming logos of all time would have to be the Pokemon emblem. From trading cards to licensed materials to the video games themselves, Pokemon is a worldwide phenomenon that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down 26 years after its release.
What can designers learn from the Pokemon logo? Use bold, contrasting colors to make an emblem really pop. Note how the vivid yellow might not always show up on marketing materials, so the design adds a deep blue outline to grab attention. Small details give the emblem a cartoon feel, such as the half moon shapes for the cutouts on the letter “O.”
3. Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption utilizes a unique font to bring home the feel of their game. If you’re a fan of western movies, you’ll probably recognize the pieced together letters of a wanted poster. The western-themed, gunslinging theme goes perfectly with the typography used in the logo.
The same font family repeats in Red Dead Redemption II. Add-ons have been released online for the games, repeating the same look and feel. Designers should note the importance of choosing a font that matches the tone of the game as you’ll repeat the look across different versions and future releases.
Who doesn’t love a puzzle building game? Minecraft takes things old school with their logo, choosing a tilted, 3D font in a plain gray with black trim. They utilize puzzle looking pieces in some of the letters to show what the game’s about.
The design proves gaming logos don’t have to be complex. They simply need to tell the user what the game is about and why they might want to play it. Simple is sometimes the best approach. Designers can always add color and embellishments to later versions.
Fortnite is probably one of the most basic logos in our lineup. However, it is worth mentioning because of the subtle representation of the ups and downs of the game. The font is a simple sans serif one, but the letters are skewed just a bit off the axis, making the logo feel uncentered.
Not only does the arrangement create interest and grab attention, but it speaks to the ups and downs of the game itself. Note how the beginning and end letters are slightly larger than the rest of the title.
6. World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft, commonly known as WOW, embraces the storybuilding of an entirely different kind of role playing world. Note the almost crest looking background, the globe and the medieval looking font choices.
The entire design sets the tone for the game. The logo does vary slightly in various versions, but keeps the same typography and layout as the classic games.
7. Animal Crossing
What collection of gaming logos would be complete without a nod to Animal Crossing? The farm-building game uses a welcome sign appeal to greet visitors coming to the “town” they then build.
One thing we love about the Animal Crossing logo is how they change the sign for different game releases or special pocket events on their website. For example, the game titled “New Leaf” adds a leaf in the upper right corner of the sign with the word indicating which version it is.
Google does something similar with their logo, adding peek-a-boo effects for different occasions. You can take any wordmark logo and add embellishments to celebrate seasons, holidays or special events. Your logo becomes more versatile without a complete redesign each time.
Other Gaming Logos
It’s impossible to cover every gaming logo in a short article. We’ve touched on some of the more popular ones and why they work so well. However, there are many online games and options with smaller followings that also have excellent design.
Spend some time studying what’s available so you can figure out how to design the best gaming logos possible. You may even find you can apply some of the concepts learned in other designs, such as business logos or headlines.