Grand Theft Auto is in at least one way a victim of its own success. It’s so popular now that some aspects of it have become entrenched, and may never be able to be changed. Like the game’s title font, which in 1997 might have been cool, but which today could be seen as a little – dare I say it – amateur.
Don’t get me wrong, just seeing the words “Grand Theft Auto” in that font are enough to conjure all kinds of images and experiences for all kinds of people. That kind of conjuring power has only been made possible via the consistency of the series’ logos throughout the years.
But…it’s not really Grand Theft Auto’s font, is it?
Games today are professional products. Every aspect of their presentation, from box art to trailers, are agonised over by teams of artists and designers. When you see a game’s title displayed on a cover, chances are it’s using a font that’s been designed just for that game.
Grand Theft Auto, on the other hand, uses an existing font. It’s most commonly called Pricedown, is freely available, and in case you didn’t get it from the name of the font, it was first used on the game show The Price Is Right.
Like I said, in 1997 this might have worked, but it’s 2013! That’s some fan-game-level stuff right there. Surely Rockstar could at least modify the game’s title, if not outright change it?
Designer Martin Schmetzer certainly thinks so. “My creative friends and I had expected an updated logotype to launch with every GTA release”, writes the Swede. “It never happened. Strange that the rest of the game design and character illustrations advanced so fantastically but the logo did not.”
So Schmetzer – who handles stuff like logos and typeface for a living – took a swing at creating his own Grand Theft Auto logo for the latest game in the series, Grand Theft Auto V.
I love it. It’s blending tattoos, gangs and graffiti, which nails the areas of Los Santos you spend most of your time in during the game.
You can see more examples of the logo – on stuff like wallpapers and box art – at Martin’s Behance page below.