If you’re designing a larp you almost certainly spend a countless hours carefully considering the design of the world. And so you should – the world is one of the most important aspects of any larp. But all too often very little consideration is given to the design of the marketing materials surrounding a larp.
It’s common now for a larp to market themselves on social media, to give out flyers at events, and even to have t-shirts made for the volunteers who make it possible. And that means that almost every larp needs design assets.
What’s in a logo?
You might feel as if it’s enough to simply type your logo out at the top of your website or on the back of a t-shirt and give no further thought to it. Indeed, you might not think about producing a set of ‘brand standards’ that will tie together your various marketing materials.
Putting together a coherent look for everything that gets seen by potential players is crucial. If the logo is unique and well designed then it will stick in players head and their image of the brand will be reinforced every time they see it.
I was listening to a podcast recently on small business marketing and the host said that it takes seven touch points before the average customer purchases a product or service. And the more coherent your marketing materials, the more likely people are to remember your game and then book a place.
Those touchpoints with your game’s brand can be diverse. They might include:
- Your website
- A social media post shared by your page
- A social media post shared by one of their friends
- A flyer at another game
- Your poster at a larp convention
- Advertisement on a site like this
All of these touchpoints need to convey your games feel, and one of the ways that you can do that is with a logo that reflects the genre of the game.
Conveying a genre
Successfully conveying your game and its genre through your logo (and other marketing materials) does require you to really drill down what your game is about. And then you can start to look at cues in visual language from history or popular culture in order to tell your potential future players what you are all about.
I’ve put together some examples of how diverse a simple text logo can be using these free font examples that are easily available to download and use in any image editing program:
This is pretty classic. An uppercase serif font with the ability to add alternative letters like the ‘R’ here, which creates the ‘dot’ for the website name.
It would be suitable for a whole bunch of timeless or classic games, with the bonus that it will look bold and catch peoples eye in a busy convention hall or similar.
There’s plenty of options out there for great sci-fi fonts, and this one is no exception. If I was creating a game that had alien monsters as a core theme I’d totally be looking at fonts like this that are reminiscent of crop circles. Over the text, I’ve added a simple gradient that reminds me of classic computer game titles but it could also be used as a solid colour depending on the way it’s being used and printed.
Danken Stripes Font
Modern or contemporary game settings can be fun to brand because the styles are very well written about and documented with lots of stylised fonts available. This logo was inspired by the front of a book on contemporary art that I saw recently.
Sharing the resources
Don’t forget to make all the marketing and branding resources that you create available to the rest of your team. Setting up a simple dropbox or gdrive folder would enable everyone to have access to fonts, graphics, and templates that you’ve created.
And lastly – check the licenses of the fonts you want to use. Make sure that they’re suitable for commercial use if you are asking players to pay for a ticket.
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