Around the end of 2016, Polygon (Vox Media's gaming brand) was looking to create a series of sub-publications targeting specific gaming communities — preferably ones that have evolved a deep and passionate fandom relating to specific gaming titles across platforms. Many of these communities either didn't receive or trust recognition from traditional press outlets, and Polygon sought to cross the void with enthusiastic, targeted, and in-depth writing.

Working alongside designer Cory Schmitz, I worked to research, formulate, design, and pitch a series of logomarks that were to capture the spirit of the game and resonate with the different audiences of all three publications. Additionally, I was tasked with also creating a design lockup system that provided visual structure for future publications in this family. 

The following work corresponds with the gaming sites Polygon is choosing to launch with — Heroes Never Die (for the Overwatch community), Rift Herald (for the League of Legends community), and The Flying Courier (for the Dota 2 community).

The sites are now live at The Rift Herald, The Flying Courier, and Heroes Never Die

 

Each logomark will correspond to a respective publication from Polygon, manifested through a site hub, social media pages, and future applications.

 
 

In the initial phase of the project, research was focused on aspects of each game beyond the primary storyline. This included image-gathering and walkthrough of character styling, menu UI, map patterns, HUD, previous logomarks, and more. It was crucial to find visual details to appeal to deep fans of each game, as the objective was to create something inclusive of these communities.

 
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The logos were then set to focus on what were the strongest ties between the publication brand name (Heroes Never Die, Rift Herald, and Flying Courier) and subtle motifs that referenced it (Mercy's wings, League's map/Rift Herald's "eye", and Dota 2's player match screen, respectively).

They evolved throughout numerous directions — exploring abstraction, the idea of a badge or crest, and various illustration styles.

 

Evidently, the abstract direction was chosen for the final set. This was due to the stylization of each logo (thus setting a strong personality on it's own), the color grading/stroke width (similar to the existing Polygon brand), and the loose symbolic reference towards unexpected fan details.

Likewise, as Polygon is considering expanding this family of publications, another aspect of the project was producing a lockup and color system that would guide iterations of future logomarks alongside current Polygon branding.