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1980.gg: the Linktree for Esports
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Product Strategy

Branding

Branding is an essential subject when launching a company or project. The Cambridge Dictionary gives the definition:

“Branding is the act of giving a company a particular design or symbol in order to advertise its products and services.”

Branding helps get the idea of your product. It gives your business a personality to make people quickly identify and remember your project.

In the first section, I explain how and why I have picked this name for my project. Then, I introduce the visual entity and my first logo, giving some insights on the reasons behind.

Naming

Picking a great company or product name is challenging. Different strategies can be used:
Common name:
Amazon, Apple, etc.
Compound words:
Facebook, Foursquare, Skillshare, etc.
Mash up names:
Instagram (instant + telegram), Groupon (group + coupon), Pinterest (pin + interest), etc.
Suffix or prefix:
Spotify, Bitly, Shopify, etc.
Misspell the word:
Tumblr (tumbler), Reddit (read it), etc.
Use clever domain extensions:
Visual.ly, Linktr.ee, Betali.st
...

I wanted a “brandable name” that is catchy, simple, short, and easy to remember. Very important for a digital project, with a good domain name.
Almost all .com domains are already reserved or parked, so I thought about the .gg (Good Game) extension. I was not sure if it’s a niche domain name or not, but thanks to my
I found that it’s particularly used by gaming websites. So the goal was to find a product name with the .gg extension available.

I started thinking about words describing my project: “
esports, page, identity, link, hub, visible, promote, showcase, featured, headline, shine, swag, rise, boost, me
”. Then I tried to find names following the different strategies above:

Brainstorming on the name
0
1
blump
boost
crowdout
espride
estory
2
evervibe
exhiblity
expoic
famecast
fanbased
3
fixline
flaash
gather
gathered
gathlink
4
gling
glowy
grabble
grawk
headline
5
hey
heymine
hypeak
ider
inclub
6
Konnect
lightsy
linkpunk
neon
peakrate
7
picklab
promove
proverve
reminate
selftry
8
showcase
showzone
spage
sparkly
spitch
9
stander
starty
swaghome
upitch
youl
There are no rows in this table

First, I selected
estory
(story, history, esports) but it’s not really catchy, then I did more research on
flaash
and I found in the Urban Dictionary that “
to flash someone
” means “
wearing nothing under a coat, only to open it and show your junk to everyone
” 😅.

After a few hours of thinking,
I had the idea to use a number for my product name
. It can be short and easy to remember, notably because it’s not common for a product name or a web domain. Moreover, a short name is important for a ‘link-in-bio’ and digital identity service, to easily say to someone “my page is XXXX.gg/emerika“ (with XXXX numbers).

I read that using only numbers for a brand name is not a good idea because it has no apparent meaning. It’s not specific to the industry. A better idea is to use numbers with letters: 3M, 7-Eleven, 37Signals, social123. So, my idea was to associate numbers to the .gg domain in my product name. The .gg extension is linked to the esports and gaming industry. You already know the domain name when you have the product name, good for a digital service.

With my developer background, my first idea for numbers was to check the
. I found the 300 code:

300 Multiple Choices
The target resource has more than one representation, each with its own more specific identifier.

It’s working quite well for a ‘link-in-bio’ tool where a user lists his many identities and social networks. The domain 300.gg is parked to buy, it could be expensive to get, and the movie 300 fills the Google results, bad for SEO. So I dismissed this idea.

Then I discovered another status code:

207 Multiple Status
A Multi-Status response conveys information about multiple resources.

It’s a very rare status code mostly used by WebDAV servers (never heard of...) but it could also work for a ‘link-in-bio’ tool. Ok, it’s far-fetched, but it’s incredibly simple and short. The domain .gg is available both in letters and numbers. Yes if you are French (or European?) you will first think of the
... For SEO I would have to outplace the car.

I reserved the domain name and slept on it. After waking up, I was less and less convinced about this idea. It's a short number but the storytelling is too thin. Finally, I found that
is a Chinese Casino link... and porno website. I was done with this idea! (I said in my
, to build in public a project means transparency including the struggles and wrong ideas...)

No more HTML response codes,
what about esports history dates?
It could be great storytelling: be part of the story, leave a trace, create your team page! I found that the first official video game competition on record happened at Stanford University on October 19, 1972. That event invited players to compete in a game called Spacewar. Next,
:

The Space Invaders Championship held by Atari in
1980
was the earliest large scale video game competition, attracting more than 10,000 participants across the United States, establishing competitive gaming as a mainstream hobby.

I like it, nineteen eighty, easy to say, easy to read. There are some photos of this event which can be great for the storytelling and the product name explanation. Space Invaders and Atari are better known than Spacewar. It’s the first major event, and 10,000 participants is still huge!

Then I did some design research for the visual identity, related to the year 1980, and I was excited by what I found. Read the section Visual Identity below to have a look. No websites on 1980.com, and
is even available. No other products with the name 1980. I also took a look at the events that happened this year, many things of course but nothing to notice against this idea. The only problem, @1980gg is already used on Twitter, but by an account that hasn’t tweeted since 2015. I will start using the Twitter username @1980gg_ and I will try to get back @1980gg later.

We have a name! This project is now called:

1980.gg

It was not easy to find a good name linked to a story, short, easy to remember with domains and social networks free. A good step concluded, now the visual identity!

Visual Identity

Visual identity is how you shape perception and create an impression through the visible elements of a brand. It comprises logo, typography, colors, creative design, etc. Visual identity is what makes a company’s products or services unique and recognizable among the competitors.

My product needs to be attractive, partly thanks to the visual identity. I hesitated to work with a freelancer for this subject. Ultimately, I decided to give it a try myself. I have a small background as a designer. Having fun is one of my goals with this project, this step entertains me (I will not say the same when I will work on the legal subjects...).

By selecting a year number for my brand name and storytelling, I started by looking at the 80s aesthetic. Less talk, more images:

What was the 80s aesthetic?

The 80’s era set the trend for bright colors, graphic patterns, and geometric shapes:
Art Deco
Memphis Style
Tropical
Neon & Cyberpunk
...
80s aesthetic copie.jpg

Mixed and reused in modern graphics:
Vaporwave
Memphis Revival
Interior Decoration trend
Stranger Things identity
Cyberpunk 2077 & COD Black Ops Cold War visual identity
...
80s aesthetic remix.jpg

Also, I would like to stay relevant to the ongoing webdesign trends:

What are the webdesign trends for 2021?

Flat design and minimalism are still big trends for this year, with shadows making a comeback, and 3D illustrations becoming more and more prominent. A lot of retro design as well:
Retro Fonts
Flat Design
Grid
3D
Neumorphism
...
60107ea7b92ae28d743d8198_6002086f72b727636701e8a4_spotify-carnival-promotion.jpeg
60107ea7b058014208a42499_6002086f72b727e9b201e8b4_yaya-website.jpeg
60107ea8208b45ff7379006a_6002086f72b727e48301e8ca_monograph-communications.jpeg

And for the gaming & esports industry, what are the design trends?

Retro
Grunge & brush
Flat
Colorful
...
EozrEeDWMAEnIhV.jpg
EswQYWMXYBAhjPn.jpg
03_groups_team_graphics.jpg
Source: Dreamhack, Twitter & LOL Esports

My 1980.gg visual identity

Taking all these images as inspiration, I started by looking for a color palette. I thought about a dark mode first visual identity, and I found this green color, glowing or even fluorescent, working well with a dark background. I associated two other colors to have more visual possibilities.

1980 palette simple.jpg
1980.gg Color Palette

Happy with this color palette, I did some research on
to find a nice background to use on my header elements. I found the perfect one created by Themefire, a perspective motion lines background that I edited with my color palette. Each line can represent a timeline. The background gives an impression of movement and energy. It can be associated with some 80s aesthetic visuals, using lines of colors.

Twitter Header - 1980.gg.jpg
1980.gg Header and Tagline

I added a first project tagline idea: “
Esports since 1980, be part of the story. Create your page
.

I considered and tried dozens of different fonts. In the end, I selected a Google font called Teko. I created the logo with it, manually removing the empty line. I will use it for the titles as well. For the logo, I picked another font for the “.GG” part called Hanahelia, taking inspiration from 80s logos which are designed with two different fonts: one large in a neon style and a “grunge” style for the second one.

1980.gg logo Tests.jpg
Some typography and logo tests

1980.gg Logo 9 Small.jpg
The first logo I’m happy enough with (but for how long...)

Conclusions

Colors, fonts, background illustration, logo, tagline, and the name: that’s a great start for my project branding!
Time to continue my product journey. I will build a landing page, using this visual identity, to introduce my concept and start collecting emails of potential users.

You may now want to go back to the
.

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