Our director of Accounting and Finance, George, recently got me into a mobile game called “Boom Beach.” Boom Beach is a combat strategy game set in fictional tropical islands. In the game, you build and develop your island base with troops, ships, defenses and other resources. You can attack evil “Blackguard” bases or other players near you. You can also organize a “Task Force” with your friends and coordinate attacks against Blackguard bases. I’m not a gamer by any means (I’m the sole reason our Task Force loses operations), but it has been a ton of fun playing.
Boom Beach is made by Supercell, a Finnish software development company. While the game is loading, the Supercell logo always pops up on the screen. I’m intrigued by it. Even though it breaks some best practices, it really works.
The Supercell logo stacks the name vertically in three letter increments. This, of course, is a pretty confusing way to present the name “Supercell,” because at first glance (and second and third) it looks like the company’s name is “Sup Erc Ell,” which makes no sense.
Many companies, especially those with a long name, use a stacked or vertical logo for situations when publication constraints prevent them from using the full name horizontally.
So, it’s always a good idea to have various name/logo configurations for different scenarios. Supercell’s stacked logo almost fills up an iPhone screen in portrait orientation (the full name would be just a sliver in the middle of the screen). Although it’s unconventional and arguably confusing, I think it’s a successful logo design. It conveys the out-of-the-box thinking that is essential to a creative endeavor like gaming. Moreover, the confusion actually makes it memorable. I never look into the developer of the apps that I buy, but I did with Supercell. In fact, I just wrote a blog post about it.