Sony Bend is one of Sony's oldest studios, having worked on games for every PlayStation console since 1993. It's also one of the strangest studios in Sony's stable. The founders bucked the trend to locate itself in San Francisco and Los Angeles to set up in Oregon, and that location influences the new logo.
While the best deals for PS5 make headlines, and our list of the best PS5 games are a good place to start, it's the small details in Bend Studio's new logo that catch my eye… or should that be 'i'. As if taking a leaf out of the best logo design tips, Bend Studio's new identity has a hidden meaning. Can you spot it?
Let's look at the obvious one – inside the inverted triangle is what looks like a stylised mountain range, and that's because it is. These two angular blocks represent the Central Oregon area, and the Cascade mountain range, in which the studio is set. After the Street Fighter 6 logo was ridiculed and fixed, Bend Studio's logo design looks effortless.
"The Cascade icon in the center of the symbol is an abstract representation of the many mountain peaks that are the center of our lives in Central Oregon and define our skyline," writes Shay Casey, associate art director (branding & UI) on the Sony blog.
This detail seems obvious, and celebrates a studio culture that, frankly, sounds fantastic as employees can leave work and hit the slopes for a spot of skiing and snowboarding or fishing in the rivers. But, there's a tiny detail that took us some time to discover, have you seen it yet?
It's the 'i' in the word 'Studio'. Casey explains: "There is a small break in the “I” that represents one of the lumber mill smokestacks that speaks to Bend’s history as a logging town before its current existence as an outdoor enthusiast destination."
If that 'i' reveal feels a little niche, which I love, the logo itself has been designed so it can be adapted and messed with and yet still remain recognisable. I love the pitch board the team created (above) that shows all the potential uses of the logo. The metallic chrome version is full 'metal' while the heart shape shows Bend Studio can break out of the triangle shape and it still holds up.
So who is Bend Studio? Let's recap… The studio began in 1993 as Blank, Berlyn and Co. and released games for the Apple Newton (who remembers that?) before hiring studio head Christopher Reese to take the team onto consoles – he's still at Bend Studio.
A name change to Eidetic in 1995 saw the team release Bubsy 3D on PlayStation, which caught Sony's eye. In 1999 they released Syphon Filter on PlayStation and the team grew from eight to thirteen people during the development of this game. By 2000 they had been purchased by Sony and renamed as Bend Studio.
More Syphon Filter games were released on PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3, while the team also turned its hand to new Sony IP Uncharted and Resistance for games on ill-fated handheld PS Vita. But it was its own game, Days Gone on PlayStation 4, that put the team back on the map – reviewers slammed it but fans loved it, and it went on to sell over nine million copies.
As well as the new logo Bend Studio has revealed its working on a new game for PlayStation 5. If you want to work with this team and catch some snowboarding in your lunchtime, then you're in luck, as Bend Studio is hiring. Visit bendstudio.com/careers to learn more!