Sometimes you want to give things a refresh. That’s a fact of life. Perhaps the world has moved on, or perhaps you (or your company) moves on which means your visuals need to change to reflect the new ‘you’.
Recently some friends and I decided to embark on some retro-gaming. We want to dust off an old tabletop system and replay the 20-year-old game for nostalgia’s sake. But a lot has changed in 20 years, including us getting older (and, one would hope, wiser). I wanted to experiment with an update for the game’s logo for our (completely unofficial) hobby project.
Those immersed in British geek culture may remember Mordheim – the dystopian tabletop skirmish game published by Games Workshop in 1999. The old logo is brilliant – its anarchic pseudo-medieval typography being highly readable while still summing of the chaos of the world it described:
The old Mordheim logo – © Games Workshop
For our update I wanted something a little more contemporary, more threatening and a bit weirder. I found inspiration in black metal logos. Typically the logos of the bands in this musical genre are organic, gothic, spiky and root-like. They are also often unreadable, which is less useful in many other contexts for a logo. I liked the way the use of ‘roots’ found in these logos represented our hobby group going ‘back to our roots’. Plus they evoke the decay and blood-letting themes of the game’s dark medieval setting.
Here are a few scamps I did to try and find the right direction:
And after some work in Adobe Illustrator, here is the final result, complete with suitably foreboding artwork:
The biggest challenge was getting the last ‘M’ to echo the first, while ensuring it was still readable as an ‘M’. It is a flip of the first, but needed a bit of work to ensure the black letter penmanship remained constant. Also, as I drew the little roots, I found their thickness and scale varied a bit so I needed to go back and harmonise all of them. In case you are wondering, the little doo-dad at the top above the ‘d’ and ‘h’ is the twin-tailed comet, an icon from Warhammer lore particularly key to Mordheim, which was decimated by a comet.
I hope all this bleak, medieval tomfoolery isn’t getting you down too much. But as summer rolls to a close and Northern Europe starts to get that little bit darker, I feel Mordheim is just a bit closer…