Fnatic CEO on logo change: “We don’t want to rewrite our history”


When you run one of the longest standing and most respected organizations in esports, you definitely don’t want to ignore your past. So at a London based organization Fnatic introduced a new logo in January – the third iteration in 15 years – the change was not dramatic.

Unlike some other notable esports rebrands of late, Fnatic’s logo has remained largely unchanged, opting instead for a streamlining while keeping the existing color scheme and familiar shapes intact. That, Sam Mathews, CEO and Founder of Fnatic to Esports Insider, there is “a rebranding must be an iteration and a step forward – not a rewrite.”

The biggest challenge with a new logo reveal like this, he added, is living up to the brand’s legacy.

Fnatic new logo 2020
Photo credit: Fnatic

“You’re changing something that’s very popular and meaningful to our fans. You have to do it respectfully.”

On the technical side A simplified logo allows a brand to consider how it will be placed in both the digital and tactile worlds, from websites and social media accounts to jerseys and other merchandise. Everything must be immediately recognizable and at the same time easy to reproduce.

“We’ve been in esports for 15 years, so the brand is extremely important to what we’ve built,” said Mathews. “That [Fnatic] The brand went through three phases – the first was a handwritten logo designed from all letters of the phonetic word. [That] was refined about six years later to bring it into a more modern aesthetic – ultimately something that represented us.

“Then, with the culmination of this new rebrand, it was really just time to start thinking about what Fnatic will be for the future and where we are going next 15 years. That was another refinement – ​​simplifying and stripping down to the core DNA of what Fnatic is all about.”

Sam Mathews Fnatic
Credit: Anand Mohapatra for REFRACTOR

Part of that, he said, is establishing and acknowledging Fnatic’s London heritage while also representing esports as a global organization. For example, the new, streamlined Fnatic logo is prominently displayed on a limited-edition Gucci diver’s watch, which sold out in less than 48 hours despite the £1,150 ($1,416) price tag.

“Because we’re reaching a wider audience, we wanted to streamline our brand,” explained Mathews. “We want to be iconic and compete against globally recognized brands.”

Fan reaction has been positive, Mathews said, reiterating his team’s decision to simplify the logo without changing its essence.

“Ultimately, as a team with such a strong legacy, we have a duty to stay at the core of what fans have poured their time, money, love and effort into. For us, it’s not just about what looks good or will work in the future,” he said. “It’s also about the roots and when we came out with the new logo and color refresh it wasn’t a rebrand per se – it wasn’t a complete makeover but more of a refinement.

That’s why we call it an edit, not a rewrite. Because we don’t want to rewrite our history – we acknowledge our history and say that the future is also at stake.”

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