November 14, 2012The New Wooga Logo: Realign over Redesign

On November 1st, Wooga launched its freshly optimized logo alongside its focus on developing mobile games. In an internal brown bag, Graphic Designers Jamie and Johannes presented the iterations the old logo had to pass through until the new design was ready for its turn in the spotlight.

Changing a company’s visual appearance is always a big step and needs to be considered carefully. The main motivation for the logo’s transformation was to improve its overall legibility without losing its characteristic traits. Initially developed three years ago when social games were still in their infancy, the surrounding landscape has now evolved rapidly in a short space of time. Three years later and there is an astronomical amount of apps out there to be discovered with an ever expanding player base.

Check out the new logo here.

Reason enough for Wooga, and Jamie & Jo specifically, to adjust the old logo, tweaking it to be better suited for Wooga’s mobile titles. Contrary to web games, the logo space on mobile is smaller. It better suited the web format where it could stretch out in all it’s finely crafted glory, but for mobile a smaller more nimble flag bearer was required.

The logo space for Bubble Island on the iPhone or iPad is only 10×10 pixel. This is not much, especially when the player has to identify the logo in a heartbeat.

The old logo was designed for web applications, which allowed several shades and highlights and a more complex visual appearance. Designing for mobile has to take different aspects into account: such as data size. If you small shrink the logo for mobile, the intricacies of the old design would become blurry. Wooga also uses the logo for in-game items on web and mobile and with this in mind three key factors emerge: legibility for smaller screens, reducing logo related bugs and emphasizing the existing features of the logo.

But Wooga decided not to redesign the logo completely, instead a decision was made to ‘realign’. This mainly involved four key tasks: the spacing between the dots, irregularity in the shape, the highlights on the old logo as well as the drop shadow and effects.

“As a first step we took out the treatment and the highlights. Immediately, the logo looked a lot clearer and stronger. The next step was to increase the spacing between the W and the two dots and changing the proportions to make it smaller, more compact and more dynamic. Now it fits perfectly in a square“, explains Jamie.  “If you do a side-by-side comparison, you can see it is much more legible, especially in smaller sizes. We also got rid of the claim World of Gaming under the logo. As the logo gets smaller and smaller, you just can’t read it anymore“.

The last topic of the rebrush was the color. “There are 51 shades, which is one more than grey, as you might know from the novel. Our goal was to find the most vibrant and outstanding shade, which looks awesome on modern Smartphone displays as well as on older monitors, but it also must work well in print.“

Jo and Jamie talked more about the decision to not redesign, but to realign in their key learnings. Sometimes the decision to redesign logos is an unnecessary change. Sometimes, it’s better to take the strong basis you already have and to realign instead.  Another learning was to “simplify, not generalize”. And finally, don’t follow the trends. A subtle grey W on a white background may look pretty, but it could be out of date in a matter of months and leave the company with a unmemorable logo.

So, from now on the world has an optimized, but not entirely new logo. A carefully crafted W for the future of Wooga.