Idents & Logos for Entertainment Media pt 002. (WIP)

Part 2 – Idents and Animated Logos (Branding your own Production Companies, with an animated ident’/vanity card).

Continuing from >pt 001< – in which we looked at the development of a name for a production house within the entertainment media industry, one related to your own subject area, i.e. Animation of Games Design.

Part D – …Further Research.

You are to look at and collect examples of various Entertainment Industry (Games, TV, Film, and Animation) Production Company Logos, Identities and Brands, both static and animated.

Channel four to ninja theory

You should comment on what you find appealing or on what you feel does not work via a number of blog posts or a formally presented written document.

  • Consider how the Ident’s/stings/animated logos have been made.
  • What is the process creatives go through to create something like this?
  • What technology and traditional skills did the creative teams or individuals use?
  • And what kind of brief do you think was set for the creative who generated the Ident’/Logo?

As with any design element, you can pretty much guarantee that someone has set up a website to celebrate it, from LogoDesignLove, to ArtOfTheTitle and idents are no different – for example The Ident Gallery

Of course you can trawl around the net to find those idents’ you’ve always liked too… (You don’t skip past them do you? What do you mean you don’t pay attention to them? This is what you want to do for a living… Pay Attention!)

Anyway, here’s a mood board of some of my favourite moving image/interactive ident’s.

---Logos and Vanity CardsBeing a fan of J.J. Abrams, Whedon and Singer’s work I get to see their Vanity Cards a lot, and have come to enjoy them… and I included the McBess one (because I’m a massive fan of his work) and because he is clearly harking back to an earlier design style with this title card based on the old WB vanity card to its left…

Ubu Productions vanity card and “Beach Boys” or “That’s Some Bad Hat Harry” for Bad Hat Harry Productions (Brian Singer’s production house) 2004 are definitelytwo of my favourites from TV, but I guess I was looking for something a little more epic like the classic 20th Century Fox ident’.

Something more related to the 30’s and the Streamline style of the period.

As a counterpoint to my choices, here is a blog link that Paul Starkey pulled together of some of his favourites (an online video moodboard if you will).


Some video linked examples from the world of Animation –


Crooked Lake

Star Harbour

Some examples from the world of Games –

EA Game Logos

Media Molecule

…some linked property stings for DC(comics), Warner Bros and Rocksteady.

…and finally a range of Rockstar logos below.

…all above logos and design are copyright to Rockstar Games.

Part ETypography

Find a quote relating to Typography in by a designer/s who have worked on Logo/Branding designs and discuss this quote with (acknowledged/cited) visual references.

Then explore and discuss possible Typefaces/Fonts for your chosen Production Company Name, explaining your reasoning.

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 15.50.49

The 1930’s with its streamline design movement, though separated from the age of steam by a considerable gap of years, has a feel of power and beauty in balance, it is for that reason I was interested in the type of the period.

Piet Zwart and Beatrice Ward – their work and in particular her famous ode to Eric Gill’s Perpetua typeface (which he worked on this through the 1920’s), reflects an attitude of marching industry, something reflected in the machine cut type shapes of the period.

The complimenting of these hard edged industrial bold type shapes with the softer flowing, mercury sheen, metallic scripts cunjors an image of Harley Davidson eagle wings and classic american product tins and beer labels… the feel that I am looking for in our ident/vanity card text.

So, as discussed a primary reference I was really interested in period (1930’s) automobile logos… such as >THESE<

Car logos…and the graphics used on Antique Salve Tins.

Something like the the amazing type examples showcased in this article by Robert Bowen for Smashing Magazine.

“We are type designers, punch cutters, wood cutters, type founders, compositors, printers, and book binders from conviction and with passion, not because we are insufficiently talented for other higher things, but because for us the highest things stand in close kinship to those ends”

– Rudolph Koch

“The free man does what he likes in his working time and in his spare time what is required of him. The slave does what he is obliged to do in his working time and what he likes to do only when he is not at work.”

– Eric Gill

Which kind of sums up how I feel about work… I love being a creative, I’d do it all day everyday… life and the apparently necessary things life paying bills and dealing with bureaucracies just get in the way…

Koch addressing the choice to work in this particular field being nothing to do with not being able to be a sculptor or a painter, but because that was what he wanted to do, his particular choice of expression, again something I feel about the areas I have worked in. I like drawing robots, and I draw them because I like them, and am passionate about genre illustration and design, not because someone tells me it is or isn’t “the right kind of art”.

That way madness lies…

Also, while we are on the subject of presenting work… Check out Emily Blumette‘s investigation (and presentation of that investigation) on 1900s – 1930s Type.

Once your research is complete (and trust me we’ll know if you skipped a step, it’s always blatantly obvious), you should experiment with generating several versions of your Logo to be brought to life as an ident’.

You should eventually be able to draw, from a range of possible solutions you have developed, one of your ideas and develop this into you final production company, logo design.


Part F – Storyboards.


You are then (and only then) to apply what you have learned/researched to the design in storyboard form only (ONLY STORYBOARDS! No Flash! No 3DSMax! No AfterEffects!) for a “sting”/”ident’” or animated promotional/branding device of no more than 3 – 5 seconds that conveys the ethos of your Production Company.

You should plan and make notes on your storyboards showing that your “sting” will have sound.

If you wish, you can create an animatic* of your storyboard, with sound (these are often very useful when planning timings, or testing the narrative structure and “readability” of a sequence of images).

This will need to be ready for group discussion on the designated session.

(not turning up for this session will simply put you further behind and will cause you to miss an important technical production session, without which you will not be able to progress – without difficulty).

*research the term.

Steam Powered Legend Logos - Tests

Once you are happy with your design and storyboard idea, you can begin experimenting with development of your logo into its final form for the ident, whether that is 2D traditional rendering, 2D digital (Photoshop, Flash etc.), or 3D (traditional or digital).

You are then ready to go…

 Part G Your Animated Ident’

Finally – Following your “Intro to After Effects Session” you are to produce an animated version of your Sting/Ident’/Logo for placement before or after your animation/games design projects.

You can find two examples of moving imagery below created using the skills shown in the After Effects tutorial session.

Example 1 – Feral City Studios ident’.

Example 2 – the cut-up and animate technique used to create the above image.

Use your storyboard and subsequent “animatics”(which you can re-evaluate and develop from your original) and other development work to guide you and to test out your ideas, before jumping into the software phase. Projects that are designed by winging it straight into the software with no testing and planning more often than not look just that.

Planning, like research, is your friend.

So, to recap:

Your design process and planning should therefore (if you’ve dealt with every step) include the following:

  1. Considering the meaning of names and naming, what do company names signify or convey to an audience.
  2. Development of a range of names, perhaps using bespoke or online name generators as part of your process; and the choosing of a final name for your notional Production Company.
  3. SIDE INVESTIGATIONS – [A consideration/investigation of 1 – Semiotics, Signs & Signifiers, and 2 – Storyboarding]
  4. Take a look at a range of Production Company idents’ relating to Games or Animation, Film and Television. Discuss how they have been made and what the designers and their clients have tried to convey in the imagery and naming.
  5. SIDE INVESTIGATION – [take a look at Typography as a design discipline]
  6. Choose a Typeface/Font for your Production Company that works with the naming and proposed ethos behind that naming that you have developed.
  7. Develop (at sketch level) this into a fuller logo, perhaps adding imagery, a marque or other graphic additions to enhance the naming of your Production Company.
  8. Storyboard a range of solutions to your final ident’. This DOESN’T have to be all manic whizzes and bangs, (it’s worth checking out Ninja Theory’s game ident if you haven’t already).
  9. Make an Animatic of you final storyboard.
  10. Development of your logo design into its final form, traditional or digital, 2D or 3D.
  11. Finally, use your logo design, storyboard and new After Effects skills to develop an animated ident’ with sound for your proposed Production Company.

…and you’re done.

~ by hesir on December 13, 2013.

One Response to “Idents & Logos for Entertainment Media pt 002. (WIP)”

  1. […] Go to Part 2 […]

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