OKIDO is a bimonthly magazine for children aged 3 to 8. It helps children learn through play, and it is full of stories, activities and games that stimulate creativity and inspire scientific interest. Each issue is based solely on a separate theme, for example, television, families, and London.
In my personal opinion, one of the key parts of this project for me was to create a strong brand for our game. This started with thinking about the logo. I wanted a strong, striking logo that would be easily recognisable.
The first thing I had to consider was the elements that the logo would be composed of, however I quickly decided I would use my experience in using type-only logos in previous designs to my team’s advantage. I played around with Avant Garde, a typeface I knew could work very well as a logo. A direct influence on the design of these logos was Herb Lubalin, a designer who I have a great passion for. Lubalin worked primarily with typography as a communicative device, which is what I’ve tried to achieve here.
The images above are the very first logo designs I created, using the colours we as a group had chosen. I simply lined the type up so that the E and H were aligned, and built the logo around that. Originally, for the retro look, I created the logos only as outlines, but realised that solid filled logos would probably be more emphatic.
Realising the original logo designs were probably too clean-cut, and not rough enough for our game, I decided to add a bit of texture and mix up the colours a bit. Instead of using just one colour, I used all three on a gradient, and coupled with a rusted metal texture, I think the final logo is much more suitable to be used as the main one for the game. With that said, I will still be using the plain colour logos for posters and branding elsewhere, as they are still good enough to function well in the project.
After numerous colour tests, conducted with the help of the game artist in my group, the colours we settled for to use in all aspects of the game were a medium-dark purple, a light blue, and an orange. We studied many pictures of space, focusing on the colourful images of nebulae, to see which colours work well with one another in the context of outer space.
We chose a relatively deep purple for the main background colour, for almost every aspect of the game and its branding. We did so because it is a very “space-orientated” colour, and also because it acts a great counter for the other colours in our designs, which are much lighter.
The light shade of blue we chose is meant to be a reference to the stars. In the numerous photographs we studied, the stars were either a white-yellow, or a very light blue. After many tests we decided blue would be best. It also works surprisingly well with our purple and orange colour choices.
For the orange, we thought we’d include a direct reference to Mars, which plays a key part in the back story of our game. We chose a lighter shade, so it wouldn’t overpower the purple and blue. We had numerous different tones of orange to experiment with, but this was the best one by quite some way.
For the headers and main detailing of the designs for this project, I chose to use ITC Avant Garde Gothic, the typeface designed by Herb Lubalin (see previous post).
Four different weights of the ITC Avant Garde Gothic Standard family
I chose this typeface because as a group, we wanted a clean, legible typeface that would reflect upon the futuristic yet simplistic nature of our game, a typeface that would be easy to read on screen and in physical form when printed. Avant Garde is a crisp, modern sans serif font developed during the 1970s by the International Typeface Corporation, and is still widely used to this day. It is a font that has stood the test of time, and during my initial experiments I decided it fit into the game perfectly – a clean typeface offset by the rough, unrefined nature of the game.
You can do a good ad without good typography, but you can’t do a great ad without good typography”
Herb Lubalin was an American graphic designer and typographer. He collaborated with Ralph Ginzburg on three magazines: Eros, Fact, and Avant Garde, and was responsible for the creative visual beauty of the publications. For the last of these, he designed a typeface, one of my personal favourites, ITC Avant Garde – a font which could be described as a nod to the art-deco style of the 1920s. It was used heavily in the 1980s, 90s and the early years of the 21st century, and is even still used in moderation today.
Lubalin’s interest in typography as a communicative implement manifested at an early age, and he was particularly interested in the differences in the interpretation one could impose by changing from one typeface to another. He was very fascinated by the look and sound of words as he expanded their messages with typographic impact. As such, the vast majority of Lubalin’s work was based heavily on typographic experimentation and manipulation. In my personal opinion, his clever use of type allowed him to communicate incredibly efficiently and effectively.
For this project, I have been assigned the role of Graphic Designer for my team. I’m fairly pleased with this as Graphic Design is the pathway I wish to go down later in the course. As the graphic designer, I have the job of creating the branding and styling for the game, including a logo and promotional material, as well as a style guide – the set of rules I must follow whilst designing aspects of the branding. As well as this, I will also create social media accounts for the game, a very modern and effective way of promoting new content. During the process of producing all of these things, I will maintain constant communication with my teammates, taking their opinions and ideas into consideration before finalising any work.
Our game, entitled Space Shoes, will be a 2D platform-based game set in outer space. The game itself is set many hundreds of years in the future, although the exact year hasn’t been specified as of yet.
The main character, an anonymous female astronaut, is travelling from Pluto to Mars, in search of a pair of “space shoes” she left there on her last visit. On her way to Mars, her ship crashes into an Asteroid field, damaging the ship. The aim of the game is to collect pieces of the ship scattered around the Asteroid field, so she can repair it and continue on her journey.
The premise of the game is an uncomplicated one, one which is meant to be as light-hearted as possible, meaning it can be played by people of all ages. When designing the game, we wanted to make it as stripped back and basic as possible, to give it a really retro feel.