Game design × Type design

5 successful cases of cooperation between game dev studios and design studios

August 24, 2023

Typically, game developers spend an enormous amount of time and effort on developing graphics and scenarios, paying the least attention to the identity and the font. Both big studios and indie developers tend to choose their fonts using ready lists of game fonts. And yet that is not always the case: certain developers are willing to reach out to professionals asking them for a font for their games; the fonts are commissioned for both long-existing franchises and new games that nobody knows about.

Warhammer III

Creative Assembly ×

Art directors of the post-apocalyptic strategy game Warhammer III approached Pentagram with a task to rebrand their project. Pentagram partnered with to develop their identity, new logo, and a typeface called Chaos.

Chaos turned out as a gloomy and sharp serif font influenced by marble carving. Its acute serifs, making you think of swords, rhyme with the game graphics. The font has three optical sizes which makes it applicable not just for titles and subtitles but also for text blocks within the game.

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Psychonauts 2

Double Fine × Lettermatic

Double Fine applied a really serious approach to creating a technical task for type designers. Reaching out to Lettermatic, they already knew they needed three typefaces which were to play different roles in the narrative.

The first font, Chia, was supposed to reflect the idea of a world where something always goes wrong, so the designers had to write a special software which would introduce errors to the outlines. The second typeface, Savannah, was planned as a link to the game’s first episode, and the third one, Arundo, was conceived as a pseudo-corporative typeface for a voice of the Psychonauts universe creator.

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Mojang Synergies × Bold Scandinavia

In 2020, BBold Scandinavia studio was assigned by Mojang Synergies company brand directors with a task to organise and structure the identity of Minecraft universe& — they designed logos for its marketplace, educational projects and events.

The studio used a pixel grid as a starting point — the one which serves as a base for the entire Minecraft world, — and designed a font family based on its logic. The Minecraft collection now has four 2d styles and one 3d style. The font is used within the game, on social media and merchandise packaging, boasting to support even Korean and Vietnamese scripts.

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Obsidian × Lettermatic

РIt’s not until the graphics was ready that Obsidian studio, developers of Pentiment, approached type designers and invited them to reflect together on how a text in a medieval-themed game should look and how many fonts it requires to properly explain the context to the players without creating unnecessary visual noise.

Lettermatic designers decided they needed a handwritten typeface and created a map of all European calligraphic scripts, chose three most relevant options and designed a font based on those three. Then they asked their colleague Jane Solomon to dive into online libraries and find a number of scanned manuscripts and papers set in the earliest metal type. Lettermatic designed two more fonts based on the results of this research.

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Electronic Arts Video Games × Type Together

Even though the Spore font was designed back in 2008, it hasn’t gotten old. When the authors of Spore reached out to TypeTogether, the strategy game already had both graphics and the logo — the only thing missing was a font.

The TypeTogether team used the logo shape as a base and, in collaboration with Pete McCracken, developed a friendly sans serif typeface with rounded stroke terminals. The Spore font comes in three styles, and the regular width was designed last — as an in-between for Light and Bold.

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