Does Grand Theft Auto’s Logo Need A Facelift?

Does Grand Theft Auto’s Logo Need A Facelift?

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.

Does Grand Theft Auto's Logo Need A Facelift?

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.

Does Grand Theft Auto's Logo Need A Facelift?

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.

GTA needs a Grand Typography Adjustment [Behance, via Moon83]


  • The new and improved logo presented here is terrible. The font used is overly complicated and “fancy,” it fails to capture the tone of the game. The original typeface is much stronger and clearer and much more recognisable when pared back to just GTA.

    • Agreed, it’s lines go everywhere and it doesn’t draw the eyes anywhere.

      Whereas the original is simple, stark and strong with a minimalism usually greatly valued by font artists. It gives a sense of weight, whilst still being playful and evoking earlier styles of street graffiti with it’s large blocky letters.

      Beyond that the branding is stunning and so ingrained into the product. You could put white text with it on a black page saying “Coming Soon” and people would shit bricks, you cannot buy brand recognition like that.

      As biggus mentions, most people looking at the price of right logo will now think of GTA. That is the sign of good branding.

      Besides it’s not the first time there’s been this crossover, remember the PS3 famously using the “Spiderman font” on their console? A rather simple stroke of marketing that made people looking at PS3s subconciously think of the fun and escapism generated by those early Raimi films, as well as hinting that this console was part of Sony’s larger ecosystem.

      Whether that was intentional or not though is anybody’s guess.

  • Its not strange that it stayed the same.
    New logo – It’s cliched. It sucks. It looks generic, and takes away from the brand identity. It looks so awkward against the blue. The game is awesome, and that’s more important than fonts.
    It’s saying, “look, upgrade your logo types, hire designers to pontificate over box art. We are still gonna kick your ass with a superior game. We are artists, you have designer shills dressing up EA turds”.
    Ergo, I like the defiance inherent in the logo, it’s satirical in ways and that fits the game’ stone infinitely more than missing the point entirely with a focus-group version of what tattoo art is ‘supposed’ to look like.

    So much fail
    Much lame
    So Swede

    Such awkward

  • It’s such an iconic, timeless and recognisable logo, so why change that for something that a might look in fashion for a short time. The example shown would be great as a secondry title, but to replace Pricedown as a whole? No.

  • That new logo makes me think of gothic. Its horrible.
    No, GTAs type face dos not beed to change.
    if Rockstar do decide to, they will come up with something better than that.
    Graphic designers seem to think that the general public really give a shit about type, letter spacing, colour harmony, negative space and clarity. No. We dont. GTA logo is iconic. Even if it is a generic typeface.

    • Don’t generalise ‘graphic designers’ and assume that they all prefer needlessly complicated ugly typefaces. Everything you listed is actually quite important, but not for the reasons you may think. But at the end of the day, an ‘amateurish’, yet iconic design will trump a ‘technical masterpiece’, always.

      A logo does not need to be designed around its product. A car logo doesn’t need to have wheels in it, etc. Rather, I think you’ll find, by far and away, the best and most iconic logos in the world collectively avoid doing so.

      A logo can be anything. It’s the feelings and emotions that people relate to the logo that matters. It’s the only thing that matters.

  • Font people are a strange bunch. Who cares if it’s a generic font? It’s iconic now so why try to rebrand something that is working. “It aint broke”

  • The old logo IS GTA, and for any of us who aren’t yanks the first thing we most likely saw that font used in was GTA.

  • The new logo isn’t bad but it does not suit the type of game Grand Theft Auto is. If GTA has a film noir story like LA Noire or the original Max Payne then it would be more suitable but as it is the GTA logo is one of the most recognisable logo’s and there is no reason to change it.

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