5 iconic game company logos that must not be messed with

So theold Rare logo is dead. I was never a huge fan - I always thought it was a little tacky looking. Like it should be nestling between the cleavage of a brassy, overweight barmaid. And the new one? Add the words 'venereal diseases' to the end and it wouldn't look out of place hanging on the wall of an STD clinic. But still, I'll miss the old one. For me it represented some of the best things about gaming in the 16 and 64-bit eras. Sad face.

It's funny how attached we can get to corporate logos. They're not cats or anything, they're just corporate logos. And while I couldn't care less if EA or Bungie or Activision decided to redesign their company emblems, there are some that - in my mind - should remain untouched for the rest of time. So, these are my 5 favourite game company logos that should absolutely under no circumstances ever be messed with.

Atari

In terms of being a player on the big stage, Atari means a whole lot of diddly-squat nowadays. But the stylized 'A' has endured since 1972 and is as much an iconic symbol of gaming and gaming culture as it is of Atari itself.

As well as being a fancy, swooshy 'A', the logo's designer, George Opperman, said that the logo was also a representation of Pong, with two opposing players facing off across the Pong court's central line. The logo is often referred to as the Atari 'Fuji', owing to its mountain-like shape.

I always thought it looked like an Atari 2600 joystick. Or a rocket taking off. Or the undulating swoop of a race track. Either way. It's a timeless piece of design.

Capcom

The word 'Capcom' is a good word. It's an elegant blend of 'capsule' and 'computer'. It's nice to say. It's nice to look at. And it's associated with a 30 year legacy of some incredible games.

But for me this logo is all about the colours. It's sunshine and beaches and good times. I see the blue and yellow and I immediately think 'Capcom'. Or Pokemon. Which also happens to have a logo that uses pretty much identical colours.

I must admit that I want to straighten out the top of those Cs, but that's just Korinna Extra Bold for you and isn't enough to poop the aesthetically pleasing party.


Nintendo

Some people were up in arms when Nintendo changed the colour of their official logo from exciting red to the much more sober grey a little while ago, but it's still retained its class.

The racetrack surround and eminently legible typography ensure that this is one of the most recognisable brands in gaming. The fact that Nintendo sells games and consoles by the planet load also helps with the whole brand recognition as well, of course.

And it's not always grey. It can also be seen on boxes in an exciting range of other colours, such as black, white and silver. Regardless of the colour, it's a classic.

Rockstar

I just can't imagine Rockstar with any other logo. It has authority. No other developer or publisher identity is as memorable to the experience of playing a game. Seeing the Rockstar North logo as a C64 loading screen at the start of Vice City has to be one of my favourite loading screens since, well, sincea bunch of actual C64 loading screens. It leaves a real imprint.

Each of Rockstar's studios uses the logo, but switches the colour palette. And no matter the variation, the logo always looks the business. It's a great way of establishing a distinct identity for each development team. I like Rockstar London's pink version the best.

One thing, though. When I look at it, my mind always says 'R-star'. Which is like 'Arse star'. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

SEGA

I was never a Sega fanboy, so this has nothing to do with brand loyalty or nostalgia. It has everything to do with this being another example of timeless design. It looked good 20 years ago and it'll still look just as good in 20 years time. Sonic will probably still be rubbish then, though.

It's curvy and fun and unforgettable. Sega has always had a reputation for making games injected with rays of sunshine and the logo captures that blue sky philosophy beautifully.

It would also look kick-ass on the side of a space rocket.

So that's my little listaroo of game company logos that are dear to my heart. What logo do you love more than life itself? Or just like quite a lot and would be sad if it was ever fiddled with?

June 3, 2010