The Making of an Alliance Brand

Over the years I've created dozens of Alliance Brands for players in Eve Online. And I've created or helped create my fair share of actual Alliances. A Band Apart is the first time I've actually combined those two elements with fore-thought and planning. My previous Alliance, Burn Away, happened rather quickly without much planning. Which was pretty obvious when it fell apart just as quickly.

This time the idea of an Alliance has been in the works pretty much since Stay Frosty was born almost a year ago. Obviously I had no idea at that time how successful Stay Frosty would become, so the idea of an Alliance would have seemed a tad weird in the early days. But from the beginning the plan was building, forming and evolving along a route that would eventually lead to this. There have been plenty of players along the way that doubted I even had a plan, and yet, here we are.

I thought I'd take you through the process of developing the Alliance brand, give you a behind-the-scenes peek at how it all developed, and some insight into how this all came together.


Inglorious Basterds

It all starts with my very first Eve Corporation called Inglorious Basterds. We won't re-hash the history and the stupidity of that first try, suffice to say I was two years ahead of the release of Quentin Tarantino's film of the same name. I am a huge fan of Quentin's films, of film in general. The entire Stay Frosty brand comes directly from the movie Aliens, for example.

Eventually Inglorious Basterds morphed into my first pirate Corporation, Lucifer's Hammer. Which burned brightly for about six months and then tragically disintegrated due to real life issues I was facing at the time. Lessons learned. And this time, I was determined to not abandon the Corporation. I kept my alt as CEO of Lucifer's Hammer while Rixx went off and played with the Tuskers.

So while Stay Frosty grew like wildfire, Lucifer's Hammer served as a place to put our alts while we focused on pirating. The plan was always ready in the background, to turn LH into more than just an alt dumping ground. But I needed a few things to happen first. For one, I needed good leadership to help run the High-Sec side of things, and two, I needed a WH Corporation.

Over time the leadership emerged that could run LH properly. It has taken time, but I was determined from the beginning to give it the time it needed. We were in no rush. (And sincere thanks to Gwen, Draiv and everyone else who stepped up to the plate!) And then a couple of guys in Stay Frosty contacted me about starting a WH Corp! How about that? Suddenly we had the missing piece we needed. (Thanks to Skine and MiLLY!!)

The plan all along was to make this Alliance something special and unique. A combination of Corporations, all connected by players and a desire to build a strong group. Typically in Eve, players create a "pirate" Alliance by adding pirate corporations. A "WH" Alliance by adding WH Corporations, and on and on. In our case, we are not going to do that. Stay Frosty is the pirate corporation, LH is the high-sec, and MATH will be the WH corp. We don't need more blues, we need more opportunities for our members. Our members are the focus of this Alliance. How cool is that?

Ok, now you have the background. Now to brand building. I was pretty sure from the beginning that I didn't want the Alliance to be named after Stay Frosty. That wouldn't be fair to the members or LH or MATH. We needed a new flag to fly under together, something that would unite us. As usual I dragged my growing list of cool names out and started thinking about it. I even started a thread on the forums and away we went.

Remember Inglorious Basterds? Remember me being a big Quentin Tarantino fan? What is the name of Quentin's production company? The logo at the beginning of each of his films? That's right race fans - A Band Apart.

Given what I've told you about our intentions, it starts to make sense now doesn't it? We truly are a band apart. We've been doing things are own way for almost a year, the Alliance isn't going to be any different. Why not own it?

Immediately of course, I started thinking about a logo. Already people were asking me on the forums about one. So my mind started humming along in the uniquely weird way it has of doing. Connecting pieces. At first I considered copying the actual A Band Apart logo that Quentin uses. But that really wouldn't work well shrunk down on a killmail. So I started thinking about other iconic band images. And lo and behold.

Didn't I have a giant poster of this image on my dorm room wall in College? I sure did. This classic image perfectly encapsulates the independent spirit and rebel nature of our merry little band. Just as it did an entire generation of punk rockers.

I'm totally going to rip this off.

But wait, there is more. A quick google search revealed a lot more to this image than just the album cover.

It seems one of my favorite artists, Bansky, has also had a run at this iconic image. The pieces are really starting to fall into place now!

So I take the original photo and the Banksy translation, mix them into my brain and start to work. I want the final piece to be instantly recognized for what it is, but I also want it to be uniquely our own as well. Not a copy, as much as a faithful rendition. London Calling is a sacrosanct image in the history of Rock and Roll, I have to pay my respects.

I also have to be aware of the uses I'm going to need the icon for. In-game is one small piece of where this image will be used over the coming years. I'm sure there will be dozens of Wallpapers, Posters, Events, and other places where we will need it to work.


A Band Apart
Click to embiggen
This is where we are today. The process continues. According to CCP's rules, we have to wait six months before submitting an in-game logo into the system. So we have plenty of time to refine, change, alter, and perhaps even go in a different direction. Who knows?

But that doesn't change the fact that we need an identity now. I don't want to wait. I want more players to join our three main Corporations. And I have an unusual desire to promote the Hell out of it. As you all know.

So there it is. More than you wanted to know about the process behind the creation of our new Alliance.

Where will it all lead? Are there other plans beyond this? Oh boy, so many sekrits. You'll just have to wait and see now won't you? Muhahahaha.




11 comments:

  1. Appropriation of a brand might be more apt. You're not really creating brand from scratch.

    I did the same when I created the Fweddit logo. I asked a web comic guy if I could use a design from one of his strips, then recreated it from scratch.

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    1. Acquire. Modify. Improve. Those words used to hang on the wall of my first professional job out of school. I use materials all the time in my work, we all do really. Nothing new under the Sun and all. Art is as much an evolutionary process as it is a revolutionary one.

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    2. London calling album cover was a reworking of an Elvis Presley album cover.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elvispresleydebutalbum.jpeg

      As Rixx says nothing new under the sun

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    3. And they say Eve ain't educational!

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  2. Replies
    1. It is the most iconic ship in the game and easily recognizable.

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    2. The Rifter really is the ak-47 of new edan

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  3. The Rifter is a tad too detailed, in my opinion.
    I would tone down the black and blue shades on it. just to make it blend with the figure.

    I would also resculpt the left "leg", by putting a small step between the leg and the boot.

    But I'm no graphics expert, it's just a matter of personal taste.

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    Replies
    1. No worries, it is still a work in progress. I don't usually show my work at these early stages, but I figured since this was my Alliance I could do what I wanted.

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  4. I think the image would have worked better if the Rifter's lower wind had extended below the hands of the guy smashing it. Yes, it would have caused problems with the main body, but guy-gripping-rifted message would be more clear.

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    Replies
    1. Like this you mean? https://www.flickr.com/photos/12832008@N04/13412237824/

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