Identity Designed is a showcase of brand identity projects from around the world.

King

Contributed by Karen Leung of London-based venturethree.

King brand identity

King is a developer of cross-platform, bite-sized games, offering 150 exclusive games in 14 languages. The company has grown rapidly to become the second largest developer of games in the world on Facebook and a leader in mobile with over 108 million monthly players generating over 12 billion game plays per month across Facebook, mobile and the website www.king.com.

The recent announcement of its 10 year anniversary also brought the introduction of new company branding. The new positioning and identity was developed by working closely with King CEO Riccardo Zacconi, CMO Alex Dale, and their internal team. The new brand, based around the philosophy of “Bitesize Brilliance,” is designed to position King as the leader in cross-platform, snackable entertainment experiences.

We started with a comprehensive phase of strategy. From Stockholm to San Francisco we created ideas with the executive leadership and business managers. We held workshops with developers, marketers and HR professionals. We spoke with industry professionals and analysts and conducted ethnographic research with players. And we played every casual game we could, from Candy Crush Saga to Angry Birds Star Wars.

Our brand strategist Liam Hamill explained, “King has gone through an amazing transformation as a business in the past 12 months and we wanted to help build them a brand experience that really sums up the magic and authenticity of the company behind the games and their unique culture of innovation, creativity, care and fun.”

Isabelle Quevilly, digital director, added, “Today, with millions of games to choose from on iOS or Play stores, there are few brands you can really trust. When King came to us, it was clear what they offered was a real gem: games genuinely made to fit around players’ lives. The new brand celebrates this vision, making it clear that wherever technology is going, King will remain a seal of quality and trust.”

We created a new identity and personality that could bring the new brand strategy to life. A name change from King.com to King was proposed to represent a brand that was fit for all platforms and to make it feel a little less 90s dotcom. We helped transform an old-fashioned identity into a vibrant brand world that comes to life online, on tablets, on Facebook and beyond.

Stuart Watson, our creative director and partner, added, “We wanted to create an iconic visual identity for King that could sit alongside HBO and Pixar as a mark of the highest quality in entertainment. We designed a quirky new logo writing King in the shape of a crown — capable of working at 16 pixels square but at the same time scalable enough to make a big impact. Games like Candy Crush Saga are what people love about King, so we created a brand that compliments rather than dominates.”

We also worked with King on brand architecture, tone of voice, internal engagement and brand communications to support the launch of the new brand.

King brand identity

King brand identity

King brand identity

King brand identity

King brand identity

King brand identity

King brand identity

King brand identity

King brand identity

“It has been great fun working with venturethree on this project. The whole company is very pleased with the result, in terms of both the look and feel of the new brand and how ‘Bitesize Brilliance’ encapsulates what we are doing in casual games.”
— ALEX DALE, CMO, KING

venturethree elsewhere on Identity Designed: Little Chef, XL, hmv Christmas.

View more brand identity work on the venturethree website. Follow venturethree on Twitter.

5 much appreciated comments about “King”

  1. I’m struggling right from the start. What is a bite-sized game? The graphics suggests colorful candy – something edible. But where is the game part? Something like Pac Man? I’m probably too old for this.

  2. I saw this on the brand new website and one word came to mind – terrible. The style was never going to appeal to me – I’m probably not the target audience, but nevertheless everything about this is flawed from the basic idea to the execution which is dire including the ancillary typeface used with the main mark. Even on a basic communication level in terms of legibility I initially read “Lung” not “King”, the crown was completely lost on me.

  3. oooo Ash to say it’s terrible is pretty harsh.
    If you look at the games that King develop, like Candy Crush Saga, yo yo jackpot, princess peony for example, it fits in quite nicely. Dropping the dot.com also gives it a bit more a of a modern touch.
    Personally I am not a fan of creating logo’s in photoshop but in this case it is appropriate. The thing I am not a fan of is using it as a crown, it feels a bit awkward, possibly because the swoosh of the letter g does not join the bottom of the letter k. Not sure if it would help to join it up but it just doesn’t quite sit right for me. That chaps front mullet also doesn’t help. All in all the brand reflects the fun, play-fullness of the games in my opinion. I bet King are pretty happy with it.

  4. I’m with Christian and, to an extent, Ash on this – I’m definitely not the target audience. I’m not ancient, but I have no interest in these games.

    As a brand, however, the visuals confuse me. It seems very childish, plus the pictures of sweets made me think it was a rebranding of some company like Haribo. The copy is also hit and miss. I like the ‘Feet up. Phone out. Game on.’ a lot, but ‘The best stories are really short’ misses the mark (quite aside from not really being true).

    I don’t the legibility is that much of a problem, as I read King quite easily. Also, as the company is already well established, I don’t think confusion is likely. All in all, it’s nicely put together but not really my cup of tea in terms of look or product.

  5. I really like the logo type – I think it captures the spirit of the company and gaming in general really well. I didn’t actually notice from the first image that it was a crown, but it’s a cute touch. I’m not a huge fan of how it looks when used as a crown, but the inflatable balloons are awesome :)

    What leaves me cold is the supporting type face – it just doesn’t compliment the logotype at all. It’s plain and corporate and brings the whole tone of the other branding elements down IMO.

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