You may not have heard of him before but you've definitely seen his work. RD Rogacion, the artist behind Overdrive Esports Design, is responsible for many of the iconic team logos in use by the current top Dota 2 teams. He designed the visual branding and graphics for Clutch Gamers, Rave Dota, Execration, Team Onyx, Womboxcombo, and more.
As a secret hero of local esports, RD works in the background, improving the esports scene visually one careful geometric shape at a time. His designs are balanced, cohesive, and striking, even if they're never at the forefront of any discussion about a team. This time, we at Mineski.net thought to give the man himself the spotlight and get to know a little bit more about the person at the drawing board.
Read the full interview below:
Izo: So how did you start Overdrive Esports Design? Are you a one-man team?
RD: I started Overdrive around June of last year (right around the Manila Major) as a way of helping esports by doing my own thing – design. Yes, I'm a one-man team but I'm planning to expand soon.
Why esports-centric? Does passion come into play here?
Absolutely! Also, there's a lot of talented people already doing branding in other industries, but in esports there's only a few doing it. I couldn't not take the opportunity.
I think especially in SEA, branding isn't really taken into consideration when people start up orgs that's why there're only a few organizations/teams in the region that stand out aesthetically or are immediately recognizable in other parts of the world.
Before Overdrive what were you doing?
I did Digital Marketing at a Managed Services company called iPlus, and under its Marketing arm, MadAlbert, so a mix of marketing and design.
What's funny is after I took a 4-day leave for the Manila Major, I came back and people were mad. Like they didn't think attending a Dota 2 tournament was a good enough reason to take such a long leave. Now I watch tournaments all the time, haha!
Currently, aside from Overdrive Esports Design, I'm also going to be part of the Tier One team, doing their design and their memes.
What was your first logo / branding design as Overdrive Esports Design?
The very first project I did was with Eri Neeman. I watched his stream one time and asked if I could help him do designs for his stream. Luckily, he accepted and it took off from there. Now most of the stuff I do with Eri are for social media and his streams.
Out of all the designs you've created, which is, to this day, your favorite? What about your favorite logo that was made by someone else?
My favorite is probably the new Rave logo that I did (sadly they don't have a team yet), because it kept all the characteristics of the Rave brand, but I feel I managed to modernize it a bit. Honorable mentions are the Team Onyx and Clutch Gamers logos (since they're doing so well right now).
My favorite esports logo is Team Liquid's because of how their logo evolved over time. It features an excellent use of space.
Whom or what is your inspiration as an artist?
I especially like Dan Matutina's way of doing branding – real smart guy. In esports I take most of my inspiration from the things that I watch, and of course professional wrestling (which has a lot of similarities with esports in terms of event production and branding).
What goes into the making of a logo? How are you able to draw out the iconic look of a brand?
Lots and lots of questions. So usually, I talk to the client and ask them what they want for their brand, what their vision is and how they would like to see themselves in a logo. Then they'll give their specifications (like a specific color, mascot etc). This is where most of my hours are poured into – communicating with the client.
Then it's lots and lots of drawings I then show to my client. I try my best to involve every one of my client in the process this way.
Any pet peeves? Everyone knows the designer-client relationship isn't always perfect.
Ahh, yes. I think any designer hates doing revisions. For me, I guess when I ask them what they want and they just tell me "it's up to you, you're the designer", the task becomes more difficult than it needs to be. I'd rather have them say what they want specifically, even if it's not in design jargon. That way, I know where to start and won't have to go through revisions guessing what it is they're actually looking for.
How about dream clients?
Probably if Fnatic decides to change their entire look I'd love to be contacted by them. It's gonna be challenging though since their logo is already so good.
Any final remarks for maybe other designers or teams looking to improve their look?
For designers: try to experiment with different styles, and be sure to document your process. It's a huge plus especially when you're looking to work with someone. Also be patient with your clients, haha!
For clients: I guess you should understand designers more, and trust them of course. :)
You can follow Overdrive Esports Design through these links:
- Facebook: Overdrive Esports Design
- Twitter: @esportoveRDRive
- Instagram: @esportsoverdrive
- Support here: Patreon
Images credit: Overdrive Esports Design