"Who Are We?" The Rebranding of Esports One

Originally published at: "Who Are We?" The Rebranding of Esports One | Esports One

Rebranding a company is like choosing an entirely new wardrobe. 

You’re showing the world what you’re all about by showing off a new look. But what is that look going to be? What are we trying to communicate? Who are we?

Esports One’s goal is to enhance the esports experience…no matter where you are within the esports ecosystem. Our first iteration of the brand focused on appealing to the players, teams, fans, streamers, and broadcasters. . 

Our existing logo was somewhat monolithic, with pronounced angles and a substantial amount of heft. I felt it was really important to balance that weight with typography that was friendly and fun but could still hold up alongside the logo. 

We stuck with a simple color palette, leveraging our green heavily so we could establish our brand with that distinctive color, much like other successful brands often do (think Coke, T-Mobile, or Ford and their colors probably come to mind).

After living with this version of the brand for almost a year, we began to see the limitations of the logo. We were rapidly growing and needed a logo that would be modular to support our multiple products and represent our forward-facing vision. While I was in the process of designing the logo (lovingly documented here), I was also thinking about how to create a look and feel that would best communicate where we were going as a company and showcase some of our strongest attributes. 

I asked myself just what were we offering to the community? What was that special ingredient that Esports One possesses that sets us apart? How do I interpret that from a visual perspective? The answer was…Science!

At our core, Esports One is a data and analytics company. Yes, our goal is to enrich the esports experience for a wide swath of the community, but we do that with sweet, scrumptious science. 

Computer vision provides the data and analytics that powers our products. 

I felt it was imperative that I take cues from scientific visuals ranging from radiograms, the periodic table and of course, data and graphs. Use of clean layouts and white space would sell the direction. 

Another key ingredient I was keen to tap into was the Southern California roots of Esports One. Throughout every aspect of our brand, I sprinkled in subtle references to our state. I leaned on incorporating incredibly vibrant colors as highlights while retaining black for our base brand color and neon green as our primary highlight. Bright bursts of neon gradients on dark backgrounds will serve to bring in the eye to points of interest. We’ll also be sure to be respectful and leverage our partners’ colors when we are co-branding.

With color nailed down, I then considered what visual elements could be incorporated to bring out a bit of visual texture and movement. Using graphs and data as inspiration, I created backgrounds that resembled three-dimensional line graphs. 

I gave the line graphs a mountainous appearance, calling out the landscape of California. The curved graphs resemble ocean waves. These will provide a bit of a unique visual spark to our layouts and imagery that are uniquely Esports One. 

I didn’t shy away from featuring our logo as a design element. With its angles, curves, and contrasting white and neon green, our logo makes for an intriguing element when zoomed-in and tightly cropped. As a standalone mark, the logo’s simplicity looks incredibly clean on a solid field of black.

The final piece of the puzzle was to select the right style of typography that would communicate clarity, but not look out of place in a futuristic cockpit or interface. I didn’t want to go over the top science fiction but instead look more along the lines of something you’d see in a Ridley Scott film, or even inside a line of code. 

I finally settled on a typeface that was influenced by California highway signs. With the right typesetting, it looked very simple, clean and futuristic, a perfect mix for our brand. I ultimately leveraged much of my design explorations for a video project that emerged during our rebrand. We collaborated with a great video team to create a sizzle reel for Esports One. During this process, I came up with a visual look to represent all the technology that powers our products. The end result looked fantastic in motion and captured the feel we were going for with our brand, giving me a sense of validation for my typographical choices.

With a project under our belt that served as a testbed for the new brand direction, I felt confident that I had reached a good launching point. I once again huddled with our Head of Marketing Jordan O’Hara for his alignment. As a creative, it’s easy to fall in love with your own work, but a company rebrand shouldn’t be a personal art project. It must serve as a unified visual representation of what a brand represents. If your colleagues in marketing are excited about your creative efforts and the opportunities they present, chances are you are in great shape. With style guide in hand, we presented to our Founder/CEO Matt Gunnin who ultimately gave his authoritative nod.

With the rebrand approved, one might think that the hard part was finished. Quite the opposite! Now, the real work begins. Every piece of collateral, all social channels, all websites, all creative output must be redone to match the new brand. For such a small team like ours, that amount of lifting is no small feat. 

While the output was heavy, the real worklies in accepting the fact that we will never truly be “done”. As the esports community evolves and grows, so must Esports One, and in turn, our brand. 

Stagnation is the enemy of creativity and so we will continue to look forward.

Robert Palacios , Lead Designer