“BETO.com is seeking your services in creating a new look and feel for their Gaming Brand.” This was what one of our client’s emails read from last September when they came across my website after reading about my work for the Broncos.
It turned out that this project wasn’t much different from others I’ve done before, except that the brief itself was way more complicated. I did not know how online gaming worked or my experience designing graphics for video game brands. Still, I accepted it as part of my search for creative challenges.
The company wanted me to create three sets of concepts with multiple designs per set — all within 30 days! They also provided detailed information on their existing branding to get started immediately. This meant I needed to be creative while keeping things simple to meet deadlines.
Read on to get the entire story about this unusual project completed by me 🙂
The story of an unusual design case for a gaming brand
You must start thinking about everything that may arise when given such an odd task. For instance, the brand name has several meanings (BETO), making us wonder if we should use them interchangeably throughout the campaign. Shouldn’t the colors reflect those names somehow? What kind of imagery would work best for each concept? And how can we make sure these ideas stay true to the original vision? All questions are worth considering, especially since only two weeks are left until the deadline.
If anything goes wrong during final revisions, there will likely be problems communicating back to the client. To avoid confusion, having clear guidelines from the beginning helps immensely.
How I Designed a Logo for an international brand
Once I got past the first hurdle, I knew the next challenge wouldn’t be easy. My client wanted 3 separate concepts based on their current logo. But instead of just using the same color palette, the final concepts followed entirely different themes. We decided to use red, white, and grey as base colors. These colors have been used prominently over the years at slot machine manufacturers, including International Game Technology (IGT), Bally Technologies, and Scientific Games Corporation. And these colors are also often used on casino chips (the play money used at land-based casinos)
One of the early versions included a twisted chip representing the three primary colors. We discussed various ways these colors might relate to BETO’s long history of letting regular players experience online slots without spending real money (these are so-called demo-slot machines). However, the team felt this didn’t fit well into today’s market, where players want something more modern. A skewed chip seemed outdated compared to the rest of the industry. So we opted for a series of circles around a central point instead of as this was a closer match to a casino chip.
After getting feedback from my client, I sketched out a few options. Since they liked the idea of taking elements from the old logo, I thought showing its evolution would be interesting. To do this, I placed a white circle inside every colored circle. In the middle, I added small card-based symbols represented as the core. By doing this, I could show the progression without cluttering the image. From here, I sent over five variations of each concept and asked for comments/feedback. After receiving positive responses, I chose the most potent version and developed it further.
I made notes of thoughts, sketches, etc., onto sticky notes to keep track of time. Then once I had finalized the concepts, I organized them into folders on Google Drive. Using a tool called Canva allowed me to design full-colour layouts very quickly. With the help of Photoshop Elements 12, I cut out shapes and letters from photos and illustrations already found on Pinterest. Once I finished cutting out images, I uploaded them into Adobe Illustrator, where I adjusted and modified them according to client specifications.
In addition to sharing assets easily, I love that this program allows you to change font sizes on individual objects. Doing this helped tremendously in making text easier to read on mobile devices. If you don’t know how to do that yet, check out our guide to optimizing web pages for mobile screens.
The initial idea of the spinning casino chip
From the moment I saw the actual physical chips, I knew I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Their shape reminded me of coins. There’s a hole in the center surrounded by raised ridges. As soon as I put together a rough sketch of what I envisioned, I knew it was perfect.
But there was still one thing missing…the background texture. When looking at real casino chips, you’ll notice that none have a solid surface behind them. Instead, they usually feature a patterned backing material.
So, I searched through reference files for textures similar to what I was trying to achieve. Luckily, I still found something suitable. It featured playing card symbols. After tweaking colors, adding shadows, and adjusting contrast, I settled on a final design.
Many tutorials show how to recreate the effect yourself for anyone who wants to add custom backgrounds to their creations. You can find the links under the Resources section.
How I Created the brand identity
Now that we’d nailed down all aspects of the visuals, I began working on the words. While it’s important to remember that many people associate certain colors with specific emotions, the overall message must speak for itself. The goal was to communicate the essence of the brand without going overboard.
One primary concern for me was whether or not to include the word “gaming” in the tagline. Many designers believe consumers won’t trust a business unless it includes this term. Marketing professor Dr. David Reibstein states that “there is little evidence explicitly linking product categories to emotion leads to greater sales.” On the contrary, research suggests otherwise.
As someone who loves playing internet games, I understand why many people think it sounds weird. However, I wanted to convey my passion for them, so I kept the wording clean and subtle. So instead of incorporating a long tagline, we settle with the core word: BETO as the brand’s essence, like BET-ONLINE or BET-ON, conveying positive and forward motion and momentum.
Another decision was directly incorporating the customer service number into the graphical outline. That said, not everyone has access to smartphones. Or maybe they prefer to call companies rather than send emails. Whatever works best for your audience, try incorporating it somewhere in the copy.
Finally, I gave myself a strict timeline. I knew I had less than two weeks to deliver this project. I needed to deliver high-quality artwork fast, even without sacrificing any creativity. Thankfully, I discovered an excellent resource for learning Adobe Illustrator shortcuts.
By utilizing these techniques, I managed to finish the project on schedule. And the outcome was exactly what we had hoped for.
I learned a lot about the process. I plan on doing more work for BETO™ if they allow me to.
Creating a memorable brand requires careful planning, consideration of details, and plenty of trial & error. Don’t forget to ask many questions and take copious screenshots throughout the process. Also, consider asking for references from previous jobs. Most importantly, never give up hope. Good luck!