Minecraft has left its mark on the world to a degree where Minecraft has been called the initiation point of understanding the Metaverse.
It is wonderfully amusing to learn how merely a kid’s game can be compared to an understanding of Metaverse, which many of us are struggling with.
When you look closely, you will see that similar to many successful companies, the Minecraft logo says it all.
Minecraft Crash Course for Non-Gamers
Before going into the role of Minecraft’s logo in its success, it is important to understand what it is about. For non-gamers, here is a quick introduction to the world of Minecraft:
Minecraft is a PC game that is enjoyed in 3D by its 141 million users around the world. In simplest words, Minecraft is a creation-induced game in which players can use digital blocks to build their own worlds or try to survive in worlds built by others.
Many Minecraft followers adore its very first version, known as ‘Minecraft Classic,’ and many keep looking forward to the combination of digitization and freedom of expression that Minecraft brings into our lives through its game.
All in all, Minecraft is much more than ‘just a game.’ It truly squeezes the creativity out of its players and encourages them to express it freely; this ends up stirring motivation, offers better imagination, strengthens foresight, and is also known to help with working memory amongst players.
With the combination of an extraordinary gaming world and Minecraft’s solid brand identity, it is almost impossible to oversee Minecraft’s success.
Now that we understand what Minecraft is all about, let us get down to what we are here for: Minecraft logo evolution.
Starting from The Beginning: Minecraft Logo History
As designers and marketers, you understand that the role of a logo is to make a relatable and memorable connection between a brand and its target audience; Minecraft is no different.
While keeping it aesthetically inviting, the Minecraft logo designer aspired to share the essence and meaning of its game with its audience through the logo.
To understand it fully, let us go back to when it all started, and pick up the best lessons from its learning curve, which has surprised the world as we know it.
An Unused Logo (2009)
A brainchild of well-known Swedish developer, Markus Persson, Minecraft reached its success after lots and lots of prototypes – in terms of game and its brand identity elements as well.
Though unused, this green and blue logo design featured pixelated clouds and the word ‘Minecraft’ in all caps with round edges. Hayden Scott-Baron, the logo designer of this logo and a professional illustrator at the time, seems to have added subtle hints in the logo which speak ‘gaming,’ some see this hint as a console shape that can be seen in the clouds and others see an opening to a cartoon, concave open horizon.
Markus’ Logo Design (from 2009 to 2011)
Arguably the most cherished logo design by America’s youth, Minecraft’s first official logo design featured cobblestone, which signified the major element of Minecraft’s gaming world: its building blocks.
There is also a wise use of negative space and black shadow, which creates an illusion of the Minecraft logo design hanging in space.
A More Suitable Logo Design (from 2011 to 2015)
Though there are not many significant changes made in this version of the Minecraft logo, there are definitely a number of added elements that helped Mojang promote its newly launched MineCon.
Here, the logo designers removed the shadow around the letters but left a black surrounding on the inner edges. There is also a quite noticeable change in texture.
Nonetheless, these styling elements did not lead to any confusion or dislike in the market as the new logo still had cracks and conveyed that the game is about building – but also survival (signified by seemingly heavier stones).
As you must have noticed, the letter ‘A’ shows the most famous Minecraft monster (named Creeper, which was designed by Markus by chance as he was trying to design a pig).
A Pixelated Addition (in 2012)
In this logo, designers, later on, circled each part of the word ‘Minecraft’ with black and bold contours. They made the edges more smooth and leveled, added a pixelation effect quite significantly, and blurred the intensity of the cracks.
Current Minecraft Logo (from 2021 to present)
It is no news that Microsoft acquired Minecraft in the year 2014 for 2.4 billion USD. Gamers around the world did expect some changes in Minecraft as a brand, if not in the games.
Well, it happened and it did not.
Let me explain.
Microsoft clearly understood that the following of Minecraft was massive even before they acquired it. So they had to be careful and balanced regarding ‘bringing something new to the table’ and ‘not ruining one of the world’s top 10 games.’
Helen Chiang, CVP of Minecraft Franchise at Microsoft, revealed that the team internally decided to keep the core Minecraft intact.
Though there were some minor Minecraft logo changes in the year 2021, such as: most of the edging shadows were now removed, there was only intra-letter space, the texture showed more straight lines like bricks rather than cracks, and the appearance is no more metallic but gray in color.
A Practical Conclusion
It goes without saying, Minecraft has done an excellent job when it comes to design and branding. Sure, it looks easy, but is it?
To be more direct, what can any other gaming company get from the Minecraft logo history?
Let’s find out.
What Does a Good Gaming Logo Look Like?
Okay, so Minecraft did a marvelous job in creating its brand and aced the Minecraft logo evolution. But what does that mean for the rest of the gaming companies out there?
To understand this, let us break down the elements of Minecraft logo design:
- Its concept: As a gamer or otherwise, if you would see the Minecraft logo for the first time and you would be asked to express the first thought that comes to your mind, what would that be?
I asked this question to 3 of my colleagues who are not into gaming and their responses were around the thought ‘I would like to pick/throw it, make/break it, etc.’
The logo stirs the emotion of ‘creation’ amongst its viewers, which is the essence of Minecraft. This makes the entire idea of the logo highly commendable.
- Its design elements: As you must have noticed, the font of this logo is not a regular font. In fact, the Minecraft logo font has been named ‘Mine Crafter’ which is a techno font and looks better when pixelated.
Besides its font, the gray color and elements such as building blocks and cracks are all thoughtfully combined together to express what the game is about through the logo design.
If that did not do the job, the addition of Creeper, a famous Minecraft monster, into the letter ‘A’ certainly stamped the logo as the officially true meaning of Minecraft.
Now that we understand the elements of the Minecraft logo, let us pack this up with a quick checklist of how your gaming logo should look.
- Simplicity and clarity in concept.
- Related to the essence of the game so it reinforces your brand identity.
- Expandable and has a scope of changes without having to rebrand the entire logo.
- Memorable, this goes without saying but we cannot afford to miss it.
- A unique layout that helps even a simple logo to stand out.
I hope this inspires you to design a gaming logo that will make wonders happen. For the next steps, I suggest you get started with aligning your logo with branding and marketing efforts.