Age of Empires 25th Anniversary Logo
Develop an iconic lockup for Age of Empire’s 25th anniversary that families well with current franchise visuals, feels celebratory, and is flexible enough to span multiple marketing environments.
The chosen concept
“Fly it from the ramparts.” This concept takes the tower of a castle at the top and transitions it down to a flag, merging the strength of the structure with the celebratory nature of a banner. The transition provides a natural breakpoint in the icon so that it can be opened up and extended to accommodate logotype, or kept all together as a small, simple, and snappy icon.
The development and execution
Keeping in mind that this logo would have to flex from a huge billboard to a 36-pixel profile icon and everything in-between, I created a system rather than a singular logo. The client really wanted to incorporate characters from the game, but since there is no single “hero” character, we decided to incorporate several character silhouettes into the system, representing multiple different civilizations and game aspects, and thereby invoking the brand as a whole. In the end, we had four different size variations, with additional character and color treatment options within those four sizes.
The primary logo, meant for large applications only, uses the primary logotype with characters on either side of the tower charging the castle, imbuing lots of energy and brand love into this lockup. The secondary logos are for smaller applications where the details of the many character silhouettes might get lost, so instead we focused on just one character — the triumphant knight riding with sword held high. These lockups also include no-character versions, in case the endpoint is too small for even one character’s details. Finally there is a set of badges that do not include the logotype, and focus instead on the bold geometry of the castle-banner shape and bring the “25” to the forefront, along with the characters, which can be switched out to add variety and best fit the use case.
Each one of these logo variations comes in of course one-color, as well as a gold texture. The games’s illustration style guide, which we were given for reference, centered around the theme of “gold ink” and used golden gradients to accomplish this look. We took that style and applied it to our logos, with a touch of a brushed metal texture and some embossing to enhance the metallic feeling.
The client was extremely happy with this work and used it to create a ton of merchandise, and digital and print marketing/brand collateral.
These were rough preliminary concepts that were not chosen by the client and therefore not refined. However, I think they were interesting ideas that are worth showing as part of the process.
“Crowning achievements” — A well-earned adornment for the Age of Empires logo. This concept uses a crown as a framing device for this historic achievement.
“All in the numbers” — This concept strips away historic/game references and crafts a 25 that spans time periods, feels stylistically appropriate with the Age of Empires logo, and has some celebratory flair.
“Leading the charge” — Age of Empires changed real-time strategy games forever. Today, 25 years later, they are still setting the pace by being the first into battle for others to follow. This concept leans into that idea of leadership as the franchise raises their banner high and leads the charge.