Years ago I played World of Warcraft quite a bit -- back when I had considerably more free time. I've long stopped playing, but I still look back on it fondly. It was rarely the game itself that held my attention -- it was the people and social aspects that kept me coming back so often (as most MMO players would agree).
I was part of a guild called "Bad Mojo" and we got together 3 or 4 times a week for several hours to tackle in-game content. _(Far too often for my then-fiancée's liking and, in retrospect, far too often for me to have any other hobbies.) _They were a great group, many of whom I'd consider good friends, and committed enough to the game to have a web site. I wouldn't openly say so at the time, but it was atrocious:
omg ur site sux lol
I didn't want to be insulting, especially since I didn't want to rebuild the site myself (I was too busy playing), so I offered to make them a logo to spruce things up a bit. I didn't spend too much time on it, maybe a handful of hours (again, I had a game to play), but I was satisfied with the results. Below is the final logo I ended up providing:
I soon realized that the guild's "web guy" wasn't going to do anything with the logo I made, and if he did it probably wouldn't turn out very well (he was more of a coder). I didn't want it to go to waste, so I set out to make a number of banners for the existing site. I quickly found that the square logo wasn't going to work in the slender masthead, so I made a variation:
Normally, I wouldn't be able to do this kind of thing for a client but it's not like we had any marketing concerns.
To create the banners I used screen shots from the game and a WoW model viewer to pose and export the foreground characters. In the end I came up with about 10 or so, 4 of which can be seen below:
To Be Greeted with a Resounding 'meh'
I knew it wasn't high-caliber work or anything but I was shocked by the lukewarm, if not indifferent, reception. Didn't they see what was there before? How could they not care about this kind of thing?
I went on to use the logo in the handful of videos I made of our raids. I really thought the logo brought a lot to the table, but I was no longer surprised when there wasn't much feedback. (I think I did the videos just as an excuse to use the logo.)
What I Got Out of It
I never really felt slighted by their response (or lack thereof) -- I was glad to give what I could to a bunch of great folks. My biggest takeaway was a very strong reminder: the general public doesn't think about design. If they're even aware of it, it's on a much more subconscious level.
While I've long, long since parted ways with the guild, I find it extremely satisfying that Bad Mojo of Garona is still using the logo I made for them over 3 years ago. I may not agree with what they say on their site, and their use of Outer Glow is criminal, but I'd really like to think that I've contributed something that adds to their sense of community -- even if they're oblivious to it.