Looking Back to The Most Talked About Chess Logo Ever
The 2018 World Chess Championship found itself at the center of a heated discussion about design, sex and LGBT culture. It was covered by all major media outlets, including an above-the-fold front page feature by the Financial Times. The media called it one of the most important sporting events of the year.
One of the key issues in the discussion was the provocative logo that featured two figures playing chess in a way that, some say, resembled a scene from Kama Sutra.
The organizers and the sport had taken a risk by going outside its comfort zone and the message was amplified by the media, which loved the idea that the most conservative sport in the world was using such provocative visual language. In chess, the consumers are also players, and the campaign allowed them to finally be associated with something considered cool.
The logo went much further than anticipated, getting the Cannes Lions award and creating a whole range of merchandise that is still popular.
The event itself was a visual experience for the spectators and the players alike. The exterior and interior of the College in Holborn, the hosting venue, was decorated with key visual patterns; this was also applied to the costumes of the actors who performed in the opening ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The playful illustrations and design of the online broadcasting platform made watching the difficult game easy.
The design was visible outside of the playing venue and inside. Lettering and color patterns made the event stand out.
London hosted the Match for the first time in decades, and Londoners were aware that something is happening in their city.
Visitors were treated with branded merchandise so they felt connected to the event.