Contributed by Stellan Johansson, creative director in Sweden’s 1910 Design & Communication.
Doctor Entertainment is an independent game development studio founded in 2009 by Jesper Rudberg and Anders Pistol, both senior game developers with experience from several multimillion selling AAA games. Their first game, Puzzle Dimension, scored some great reviews and proved that Doctor Entertainment was a developer to count on. In time for the announcement of their second release, they got in touch with us to do a complete rehaul of their company brand, including a new identity, business cards and website.
When we first sat down with Doctor Entertainment we were all pretty keen on trying out a concept that revolved around using a white cross from a directional-pad (from a classic game controller) against a green background, as a symbol for the company. The directional-pad would identify the game studio, and the white/green cross would tie in with the word ‘doctor’, looking like the sign for a pharmacy. The idea was that the d-pad would be the only real indicator of game development, in an otherwise very strict and clinical appearance, which would make the company stick out in an indie-game market where most other companies seem to go for either a dark and sci-fi inspired look, or a very playful, child-like appearance.
However, after having tried this approach something didn’t feel quite right. The Doctors thought it looked too much like a pharmacy, while we weren’t all that excited with the obviousness of the d-pad cross. It just felt too simple. Returning to the drawing board we tried to alter the concept of combining the words ‘doctor’ and ‘entertainment’ into one, and came up with something that instantly felt much better. The white heart on bright-red background connected perfectly with the loving and playful attitude of the company, at the same time as it could easily be seen as the sign hanging outside a young and fresh pharmacy. To add a third layer of meaning, we also made the heart look like it was written with the ascii characters ‘<' and '3', connecting it further to the digital nature of game development.
After having everyone agree upon the concept, we went on finalizing the logo and developing the rest of the identity. Avant Garde was picked as the primary typeface, because of its roundness working well together with the circular symbol, and the final color was chosen to look warm and inviting, edgy and youthful. The business cards got a uv-varnished backside, and the website was purposely designed with large images and typography to work well on the iPad as well as on desktop computers.
More than any other project we’ve worked on, this one really proved the importance of sometimes starting over if you’re not entirely satisfied, rather than trying to force your way forward.