What’s in a chess logo


What is in a logo? Or more specifically what is in a chess logo? Apparently quite a lot if the storm over the 2018 World Chess Championship is anything to go by.

In a matter of days since the logos were unveiled to the public, I’ve picked up over 200 comments about this logo on social media. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a logo cause such a storm over a logo. Newspapers across the world have picked up on the matter.  By why this fuss over a chess logo? You be the judge. Do a search for the term “Chess logo” on twitter and let’s see what you get.

The reasons why logos are so powerful is because of the emotion they evoke in us.


When we see the Mercedes Benz logo we think quality, speed, high performance

















when we see the swoosh from Nike we think high sporting performance, tenacity, realibility

when you see the Apple Logo you know the customer experience will be exceptional.

So what goes through your mind when you see this logo? Can you see the board and chess pieces? Is that the first thing that comes to mind, that catches your eye?

When you see the logos they are enough, no words are necessary.

What comes to mind when you look at this chess logo? That’s why there’s a storm online about it. If the logo was performing its function, we should be focused on the chess within the design.

At least 50% percent of the comments I am seeing online are referencing sex directly or indirectly or its inappropriateness or poking fun at it instead of chess. For me this shows that logo has failed to achieve desired purpose. There’s no room for sexual content or messaging in a game played by children.

Companies spend a huge amount of money because they want to influence how they are perceived by the public or their customers.

As a work of art the logo is a great abstract piece but as a chess logo it is in my view inappropriate because of the sexual undertones. The logo should pull your attention to the board and the pieces, which should be the most important aspect. With this logo the chess seems to be an afterthought.

Because there are so many comments and so many tweets and so many posts and reactions to these logos I’ve decided to be just pick a few choice post or comments and share that in this article.


Bruce Mubayiwa

I am the founder and editor of Africa Chess Net. I have been playing chess for over 25 years and love writing about the game. Our goal is simple, to get more people playing chess in Africa! The game of chess is not only absorbing but a great deal of fun.

One thought on “What’s in a chess logo

  • December 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Personally I find the logo to be very inappropriate in portraying the game of chess. It’s more like it is saying sex, romanticism/erotic activity has to do with chess. What message will that give to children that we want to learn and enjoy chess?


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