Studio Mega’s inclusive identity for start.gg rejects the gaming industry’s masculine traditions
Portland-based creative agency Studio Mega have collaborated with online esports platform start.gg – formerly smash.gg – to develop a spirited identity that reflects the ever-growing brand’s influence, legacy and unique character. Expanding beyond its website to international competitions, tournaments and industries, the identity is grand in its scale, requiring a comprehensive and adaptable system to unify start.gg’s character.
Crafted in active defiance of the ‘hyper-masculine’ and aggressive industry standards within gaming, the resulting brand is warm and welcoming, referencing the interactive context of the platforms they represent. The identity’s tone was achieved through the idea of framing as Studio Mega’s leading concept, highlighting and embodying how start.gg is there to host and capture esports’ most iconic moments. Similarly mirrored throughout the supporting graphic language, the suggestion of framing is aesthetically accomplished through the bracketed construction of the logomark and bold accompanying typography. “The start.gg logotype is entirely bespoke,” Senior Designer Tyler Bell tells us, “after we crafted the icon, we constructed custom letterforms for the logotype,” aligning with start.gg’s updated icon.
Studio Mega’s bespoke letterforms are additionally complemented by the use of Nguyen Gobber’s Monopol as the headline typeface, as well as Microsoft’s Segoe UI Variable for supporting copy to align with the guidelines of start.gg’s parent company. “We picked Monopol for its emphatic presence and slight edge,” Bell recalls, remarking on the confidence of Monopol’s letterforms and their reflection of the energy and passion behind esports communities. “In addition, we felt the subtle quirks of Monopol represent the diverse and eclectic group of individuals that make up start.gg,” he concludes, further reflecting the idea of groups or teams throughout the contrasting hues of the adaptive colour palette.