The logotype was designed before Proxy was formed, and it very much inspired the creation of our company.

Working from home close to Columbia Road, in Shoreditch, London, I had just been introduced to the joys of Spotify, and was tearing through Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand and XXs as was customary at the time. The neighbourhood was a canvas for new street art, with the likes of Eine and Pure Evil quickly growing in prominence through our local art shop, Nelly Duff.

We had already decided on the name 'Supercell' with the founders of the company. The idea was to convey them as a different type of games company, ambitious to take the social gaming world by storm. The core idea was to have a radically different way of working where game teams would have a lot of independence and little hierarchy, to 'make the best games'.

When working with a name like 'Supercell' the first instinct is to focus on the futuristic feel of the word, complementing it with technologic typography. A review of other gaming brands quickly revealed that the company styled like that wouldn't stand out, at all. Inspired by the street art around me, I decided to try a blockier, stencil styled approach. The look had rawness and energy to it that stood out from all other gaming companies, but the length of the word didn't make for a particularly strong mark.

In a nod to Eine's groundbreaking work in the late 00s and The XX album covers in a grid, I decided to try stacking the letters to create a more compact, square shaped mark. As Sean Perkins, the founder of legendary design practice North would later remark to me, "you got lucky with the amount of characters". I did indeed.

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An early desktop wallpaper showing the street art inspired beginnings of the Supercell logotype, complete with the short-lived, mandatory lockup to help people comprehend the mark

In a rare moment of clarity, the logo just clicked with me. It helped convey the story behind the name, and it stood out from the competition. Now the task ahead of me was to convince the Finnish team expecting a slick, futuristic logo to go for a weird, blocky symbol that is hard to read.

I prepared a presentation explaining how having a memorable, even irritating identity was crucial for mindshare. My presentation started by channeling the likes of Obama and Sofi Oksanen. As I proceeded through my presentation there was growing anticipation, until I got to the slide with the actual logo. At that point, the silent Finns fell even more quiet.

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Meaning and construction of the Supercell logotype

After some hesitation, one of the founders said that they would have to "sleep on it". I thought that was the end of it. To my surprise, they came back quite soon by saying that they like the weirdness of the logo and the story behind it. Legibility was still a concern, but they would be willing to proceed with the logo I recommended with the condition that we always lock it up with the URL, helping people to understand the word. I would never develop any further options to consideration - the logo was decided.

The URL stayed locked to the logo for the next month. The logo has now served the company for a decade. Every now and then we have tried to tweak or polish it, only to return to the imperfection of the original.

A crucial part of employer branding for Supercell, the logotype tells the idea of the company in a short form