World Chess

Identity, promotional campaign and game environment for the World Chess organization.

World Chess

At the end of last year, entrepreneur Andrew Paulson acquired the rights to the World Chess Championship. He asked Pentagram to re-enoble chess by branding the pinnacle of chess; giving the World Chess Championship an identity, campaign and experience that could restore its reputation as a contest between the world’s greatest minds and capture the interest of a new generation.

Partners John Rushworth, Daniel Weil and Naresh Ramchandani first created a system of names. They named Paulson’s organisation World Chess, reflecting the World Chess Championship and chess as a world game. This led to a system of names for each competition: World Chess Championship, World Chess Blitz Championship, World Chess Junior Championship, and so on.

With the names in place, they chose to bring World Chess alive through the qualities of intelligence and intensity; the exceptional intelligence needed to process every possibility and permutation that can play out across the sixty four squares, and the heightened intensity of winning or losing a contest against a mind that proves itself to be superior or inferior to your own.

An identity was created using only black and white; the colours of chess pieces, but also the purest colours of opposition. The identity features a symbol for the absorbing complexity of the game, a ‘chess world’ in hexagonal form that presents a trompe-l’oeil three dimensional board in which many different permutations can be seen.

A promotional campaign was created based around the line ‘The best mind wins.’ Executions promoting each qualifying tournament as well as the Championship final feature black and white illustrations by guest illustrators that portray both the intelligence and intensity of the game. The first executions, promoting the London Grand Prix qualifier at Simpsons-in-the-Strand, feature two opposing warrior knights whose helmets and armour are as intricate as their thinking and whose tactics are dramatically veiled behind closed visors.

Project team: John Rushworth, Daniel Weil, Naresh Ramchandani, Partners; Joe Stephenson, Designer; Tom Edmonds, Writer; Christian Montenegro, Illustrator; Steven Qua, Director.

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