Round Three visual novel logo designs! In the last two posts we looked at the two most easily spotted designs for visual novels: crying girl games and bishoujo games. Our last article is about fantasy games, being that Fate/Stay Night is in this category I obviously have a good deal of interest in the topic. Fantasy visual novels usually have more complex and intricate plots than other visual novels. I will admit it was harder to get logos for this section compared to the 200+ logos I downloaded for the other two posts. I had to call upon twitter to get enough logos to feel comfortable about writing this. I would like to thank ClarissaG, Rainbowsphere, animeiscartoons, janaiblog, and wildarmsheero for all suggesting titles and saving me from having to pour through The Visual Novel Database for hours.
When comparing all three logo posts side by side, it becomes immediately obvious that each approach is very different. And that is what you want to have happen! Logos are meant to tell you something and give you an immediate feel to what you are going to be seeing (using, eating, whatever, etc.). Overall I saw a little more variety in the fantasy visual novel genre but you can see glean some common properties from them. There is a feeling of complexity to these logos that is composed of not only the many pieces involved by each piece having a flair of it’s own.
The first thing that stands out about fantasy game logos is they always have huge symbols in the background. They are usually ornate and just as important as the title as part of the logo. Where in other games any background symbol is usually merely an accent or a mascot the symbol in a fantasy game in an equal partner with the logo. The games usually have the title with bold and heave lettering with much smaller type for the subtitle. The gravity and darkness of the game is usually identifiable buy how dark the lettering on the logo is. This text usually appears on a straight line with only a minor bit of flair to the writing to make it stand out. Fate/Stay Night is a good example. The red and black command symbol in the background tells the reader that the game has a darkly mystical feel. The letter of the text back this feeling up but mostly lets the symbol do the talking.
Color palette plays less of a role in these logos, you can see everything from pink to blue used, but there is a darkness creeping in to them. This move from dark to light can give a ominous feeling to the logos and establish that perhaps the story seems light or starts in a mild direction but opens up to something deeper. The type itself has a sharpness to it, either in the letters themselves or the formation they are in or both. Then there is the tell-tale symbol with the logo, in these cases that symbol usually represents something in the series rather than being an abstract object to establish feeling as seen in the previous visual novel posts. I see the complexity and layers of the logo as a representation of the story being told throughout the series.
I am always curious if other people agree with our observations or have other good examples to add to our case files. Other than that I leave the next part up to our readers. The 4th most obvious category for visual novels is horror games like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Saya no Uta but I could not come up with a common design aesthetic for their logos. If anyone wants to try and find a common design I am curious what they find. Also if anyone can find logo similarities in other types of visual novels I would like to hear about that as well.