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  • Mottos And Mission Statements: 4 Steps To Branding Your Studio

    [06.04.19]
    - Jamin Smith

  • 4 | DEVELOP YOUR VISUAL IDENTITY

    With the first three steps nailed, you can start building the core assets that will reflect your aims. All that introspective ethereal rubbish can now be converted into some lovely eye-candy! This final step is a big, complex one, in truth; the extent to which you'll be able to act on it may be limited by budget (it certainly is in my case - there's plenty more I'd do with a bigger wallet), but there's a lot you can do to bring your intention and values to the world.

    A - by no means exhaustive - list:

    • L O G O 
      What is your studio logo? How does it reflect your values? Does it reflect your tone of voice? Does it take advantage of accompanying iconography? Does it work in both black and white? How will it animate in video form?
       
    • P R O F I L E  P I C T U R E S
      What is your Twitter/FB/Insta/Discord/IndieDB profile image? Does it use your logo's iconography? Is it still readable at a teeny-tiny resolution? Perhaps there's no better representation of your studio than your own beautiful face.
       
    • K E Y  A R T
      I wouldn't say your studio needs bespoke key art (unlike your game, which most certainly does), but it can help establish your values and convey what you're all about. I was really keen to have something more than just a logo for social headers / website backgrounds etc.

    • C O L O U R  P A L E T T E  
      This will likely fall out of your key art & iconography - but having a defined colour palette will help tie everything together across the many platforms you'll likely use. Continuity is key. Whenever I set up Superstring on a new service or social media, I ensure the colour themes are set to purples/blues/pinks; whatever is closest.   
       
    • F O N T 
      What font or lettering are you adopting for studio communications? We all know how poor font choice can lead to wrong impressions...
       
    • O T H E R  S T Y L E  E L E M E N T S
       e.g.

      D O U B L E  S P A C I N G  I M P O R T A N T  T E X T
      //Branded bullets
      Signature Emojis
       
    • W E B S I T E
      How does your website bring together all of the above to perfectly convey the brand you've tried to cultivate? This is the one place you have complete control over, and it should accurately portray what you're all about. 

    Note: I see lots of developers leaning on imagery from one of their games in relation to the above. I think it's important to separate your studio imagery from game imagery as soon as you're able. Let your studio stand on its own legs and exist outside of individual game branding.

    There's a lot more to it than just this, of course. The language and tone of voice you adopt is also born out of all this positioning work, but there's enough to talk about here to dedicate a blog of its own. I won't go into it now. 

    I still think a lot of the above can feel pretentious and without substance, but going through the motions of each step honestly unlocks a lot. Give it a bash.

    Thanks for reading - I hope somebody finds some use in this. I am more than happy to chat in more depth about any of the points here - come chat with me on Discord - and if you found this helpful, please do subscribe to the Superstring newsletter for the next dev journal.

    Jamin

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