Call of Duty®: There’s a Soldier in all of us
If you play games, or know someone that does, you’ve definitely heard of Call of Duty®. It’s one of the world’s largest gaming franchises, with millions of concurrent players. With over 20 years of jaw-dropping moments, innovative IPs, and sweat-inducing multiplayer, Call of Duty® has not only impacted generations of gamers, but culture itself.
Alongside the team at Activision, we developed a brand system that unified their massive inventory of titles, and set them up for success when introducing new iconic content, operators, and games alike.
With its long-standing, battle-tested service, the Call of Duty® brand was focused on a yearly cycle of premium titles. The growing list of record-breaking releases and sub-brands called for the deployment of a visual system that could rally every piece of content together as one united front.
After 20 years of iterations on a typeface created in 1965, first utilized in 2003, and made famous by meme culture, it was time to modernize the wordmark. We installed an IP framework for the franchise, bringing consistency and simplicity to a visual system that had seen significant change in that time.
We collaborated with typographic foundry NaN to build Hitmarker, a custom variable typeface fit for the frontlines. With bespoke weights for any loadout, Hitmarker is used everywhere within the Call of Duty® ecosystem: game UI, IP titles, brand comms, and thumbnails.
Once the framework was locked and loaded, we applied the same thinking to every sub-brand—bringing systematic constructs to Call of Duty® Warzone™, Call of Duty® Warzone™ Mobile, in-game events, their Esports offering Call of Duty® League, and their philanthropic arm Call of Duty® Endowment.
For a franchise often dealing in extreme intensity, we set out to create a set of motion principles that could harness that energy—mimicking the Call of Duty® experience: rapid fire thinking, sprinting to objectives, and (with the wrong attachments) harsh recoil.
This structure extended to our partnerships, making Snoop Dogg, 21 Savage, Skeletor, and a box of cereal all feel at home within the same system—showing up in album artwork, packaging, merchandise, and seasonal content.
For some of us, Call of Duty® has been a part of our lives longer than it hasn’t. Through our ongoing partnership we’ve been lucky enough to impact the Call of Duty® brand online, in-game, in-person—and whatever comes next. For now, over and out.
Made in collaboration with the team at Activision: Tyler Bahl, Matt Webster, Rob Kostich, Pat Kelly, Johanna Faries, Hayley Linsenbard, Matt Gilhooley, Brandon Russ, Kelly Patt, Karen Starr, Elizabeth Burr, Marco Rosado, Brenda Yeh, David Kramer, Eleanor Fortier, Thomas Cerny, and Ben Furneaux.
Modern Warfare III, Warzone, The Haunting, & Blackcell Keyart courtesy of the incredible team at Petrol.
Hitmarker built in partnership with the formidable NaN.