• LiftOfff Design Agency

Learn Brand Identity for Your Startup from Squid Game

Did you watch Squid Game on Netflix at one go? So did us. What astonished us at this a South Korean survival drama television series was a fresh drop of creativity, original screenplay and a professional brand identity. Squid Game is an extraordinary example of a great visual communication design and branding development which can be taken as a base to any startup or business starting point.



So what type of brand identity and design components did Squid Game use? These are basics which define the whole product: font, color scheme, logo and icons.


Let’s see how your business can serve these steps in order to create a strong design language and a professional and recalling brand identity


Font

Let’s start with the font as a part of a brand identity. The main thing about it is that it looks diverse from any other font that is usually used in the cinematography. It’s not symmetric which creates boldness and thus you can memorize it well. The font shape matches both Korean and Latin letters and Asian symbols which are very different, and still you can find the resemblance.

Another point of font magic is a simple geometric shapes such as a line, square, triangle and a circle which also are defined as separate icons. In general I’d say the font does the main job forming the logo and creating a beautiful strong typography.

There are plenty of classic geometric fonts which you can easily download online. The trick was to create a story behind the font and to connect to the brand identity of the product.


Color scheme

The brand colors of Squid Game are separated by metaphorical meaning. Pink is “bad” and green/blue is “good” - automatically we separate colors by a “black and white” contrast rule which is based by a strong contrast. There’s also yellow color which is mentioned when the topic discussion is wealth and money. Also when the scene covers a positive emotion such as a new day of survival, money winning or a victory triumph the frame is exposed in a warm color pallet. Otherwise when it's about a fight, a death colors are in a cool tone. These are psychological trick used in cinematography which are easy to apply to your brand line and identity.


Think what feeling your brand or a product or a service provides and how it's associated with your potential customers.


Let's check main color pallets by themes:



The Squid Game henchmen are dressed in pink – a color that traditionally represents mildness and childhood, but which also evokes feelings of tension and anxiety. Similarly, the blue/green tracksuits worn by players are casualwear playing into the natural irony of the game’s contrast. Blue / green means a person, pink means a system same way as pink means death and green means life.


To see the formula behind the colors let’s get back to the color wheel. The colors used for the branding are complimentary. In other words they are opposite each other in a color scheme. In this case, opposites attract. This particular color scheme draws from two colors on the opposite side of the color wheel. The effect is a high-contrast color combo that’s that pops. Complementary color combos tend to be bold, which is why sports teams often use this principle for their colors.


There’s an interesting fan theory about color meaning (spoiler here).


Logo design

Let’s check the colors of the logo: here the dominant color of the logo is pink which addresses us to the “bad guys” side. Pink is a major color player as it dictates the rules. It even has a music theme by the name “Pink Soldiers''. The choice of putting pink in only some parts of the log also has a meaning – it defines the icons (triangle, square, and circle).


Henceforth strong color presence helps organize brand identity of the show in a right way, explains the concept and narrative.



Another amazing feature of the logo is that it can be used in every language, for example English, Korean and Russian. How does it work? By using the same linear shapes which are a part of a visual communication and branding. You can do it too with your brand or product by picking a right font which will match a multilingual system. This is a worthy example of how you can use successful collaboration between shapes, colors and typography provides professional logo design in your startup or business when the client (in this case us) will remember your brand.


Icons

The key of the game are the icons we see everywhere on the show. They are on soldiers helmets, on walls, on a business card, on walls, on logo title. three icons create a repeated series which form a brand identity. Each time we see on of the icons we know that two are thereto follow. This is how you can use it in your bran identity : develop a series of three products, three icons, three illustrations which will be based on the same design and thus will be remembered automatically.





They are small hints which serve the story perfectly and keep the tension. We never get an explanation about icons meaning, we only know that you can separate by icon solder status. The symbols discern the order of authority of Squid Game workers, which go from circle - the lowest rank - to triangle, the highest rank.



By the way the icons are simple geometric forms which are well known in the world of visual design. The creator didn’t look for too complicated icons and it still worked! Why? Because these are the basics which are easy to memorize and to use in branding. Simplicity and minimalism - remember that when you create a logo or an icon.


The conclusion

Creative thinking and visual communication are the main key of a successful brand identity. The Squid Game is a great example when all the elements work together as one strong and definite visual component that shapes out the story. Be sure to see the color pallet and simple geometric shapes implied in various spectrums of lifestyle brands and tech startups worldwide as a global trend.


When your brand identity works it’s so much easier to develop a product line, stylize it and a merch – same happened to Squid Game fan art worldwide and drew attention of famous global artists and fashion brands to collaborate with Netflix’s actors as a part of the show’s success. That can happen to your brand too, just think of a right identity.



gif