Note: The following comments by Hiroyuki Owaku
are translated from Konami's Silent Hill 3 website.
When you look at this, how does it make you feel?|
It says "Silent Hill 3". That much is obvious.
But if you sense that something's off...you have pretty good eyes. Or maybe you're a pretty hardcore Silent Hill fan?
This is actually a rejected title logo (meaning, a prototype).
A title logo is like a business card.
It presents a name - "this is a game entitled 'Silent Hill 3'" - but at the same time, it has to conjure up an image of the game. It's everywhere: webpages, magazine articles, packaging, posters...the customers may not pay much attention to it when they see it, but it's an extremely important element.
For example, how does this come across to you?...
...Cool & sleek.
You'd never think this title logo was for a horror-themed game.
And it's no wonder - those in the know have probably already guessed, but this logo is modeled after that of Winning Eleven 6, a game of sweat and cheers, not blood and screams. (Well, the logo's by the same designer, so calling it a "an imitation" might not be entirely accurate.)
If it were Heather on the cover, would she have a steel pipe in her right hand instead of a ball?
This is the title logo for Silent Hill. No one knew what Silent Hill even was when we made this. It was billed as Konami's first horror game, but it's not as if we were turning heads. |
This reminds me; the game debuted in 1998 at E3...the Japanese gaming magazines wouldn't give us any press at all...
The second game. Since it was a sequel, we had the option of using the same logo as before, but, even though it was still Silent Hill, since Silent Hill 2 was going for something different than what came before, we changed the look.|
We created a logo that was meant to say "a horror that's silent and unmistakably all-pervasive"...with a font entwined in silken spider threads, or perhaps mucus.
And so on to Silent Hill 3.|
Not that we hit upon the current logo immediately.
We created several preliminary versions, and as a result, we went over our ideas several times.
This was the very, very first logo we created - one in the exact same style as that of Silent Hill 2.
However, just as things changed from SH1 to SH2, we were gunning for something new with Silent Hill 3.
We therefore also wanted our title logo to have a newer feel to it, so we ditched this.
Little by little, the logo began to evolve.|
It wouldn't have been hard, though, if we were going only for something that was merely novel.
It had to be something that was new but at the same time stayed true to the game's atmosphere - that's what made it difficult.
This title logo features a slender, serifed Ming typeface. SH1 & 2 had Gothic fonts; this font was designed to signal a break with what came before, a different direction.|
It fits the atmosphere.
Its drawbacks, however, are that it makes a weak impact and that it's hard to read.
A title logo is meant to communicate a game's title. It is critical that it make a strong impact and be easy to read.
I mean, that all seems simple and obvious when I put it down on the page here, but nailing that matter-of-fact, self-evident simplicity is tough.
Therefore, we created dozens of mock-ups; only a small portion of them are represented here. The ideas we didn't use must have numbered in the hundreds.
This was the direct predecessor to the current logo.|
You can see traces of it in the lines that run across the logo horizontally.
The Ming font makes an underwhelming impact, but doesn't its transience, is instability, suit Silent Hill? That idea - or, if you will, that misconception - was also voiced.
And so we arrived at the current logo.|
It's at this point that I'm supposed to come up with some dramatic climax to the story: "One day, we looked at x, and inspiration struck!! An idea came to me: 'That's it! That's the solution!!'"...but that's not the case.
We just kept at it with trial and error, and this was the result.
The title logo of Silent Hill 3 is striking and conjures a world of deep and potent fear. It was completed just before Silent Hill 3's appearance at E3 (May 22-25, 2002).
(All Designs/Daisuke Nakayama, Text/Hiroyuki Owaku)
Translated by R. Capowski, 4/28/16; original website is property of Konami.