With Guitar Hero 5 launching today, and new spinoffs DJ Hero and Band Hero coming in the fall, video game publisher Activision approached Pentagram to create a new GH identity that would serve both the original game and new titles the don't necessarily share the original's heavy metal roots.
"Activision had reached a point where it wasn't enough to just keep issuing new, more elaborate iterations of their original logo," says Pentagram partner Michael Bierut. Discussions with Activision CCO Brad Jakeman, VP Global Brand Management Kim Salzer and the Activision management team led "to the challenge of how to come up with a logo system that retained enough of the original Guitar Hero flavor, but that was coordinated and extendable."
Pentagram overhauled the original GH log, modifying its aggressive, heavy metal features in a style that could remain relevant across the entire franchise. The firm also devised the heavyweight sans serif "Hero Bold" font. "The challenge was translating an idiosyncratic, one-of-a-kind type treatment into something more universal," says Bierut.
The new identity was also meant to be a canvas for an array of visual interpretations. To demonstrate this, Pentagram commissioned designers like Rick Valicenti of 3st, Adam Larson and Steve Wilson to tweak the logo to reflect different genres. The one featured here is by Adam Larson.
Read more about the new Guitar Hero identity on the Pentagram blog