World Chess Championship: a poster that plays footsie

03 January 2018  |   0 Comments   |    |  


It's official: we're going to have a good time at the London World Chess Championship this year.

Imagined by Shuka, (the russian studio that had already worked on posters for the 2016 edition) the visual identity of the next world chess tournament promises to be warm and should please chess fans... as well as Kamasutra fans.

In 2016, the agency had taken over the reins by proposing new posters for the New York edition based on the delicious work of Pentagram, to whom we owe the identity of the championship since the acquisition of the rights by the entrepreneur Andrew Paulson, in 2011. Built in black and white from its origin, contrasting and contrasting colours that reflect the spirit of the game, the identity of the "World Chess" had been declined even in the design of objects with the creation of tables and game spaces.

Sources: Pentagram

The old logo, a chess board with complex curves that looked like a hair pulling / someone grinding black in comic book language / an abstract painting or a scrawl of a learned child / the movements of pawns on the chessboard, gave way to a stylized arm-fight, like a vectorized tattoo. The impression of brainstorming and strategy, in addition to applied, can be found with this upright arm reminiscent of the Tower. The Shuka agency has declined its logo into patterns and contours, and the result is worth the detour.
Before - after below (2011 Pentagram - 2017 Shuka).

Source : underconsideration


A bit of nooky

But what is most talked about in this new identity is this ole-ole poster: if the arms get tangled, the legs are also part of it.

This "controversial and trendy" visual, like the host city, represents two entangled chess players who make hands and feet to place their checkers. Minimalist and in black and white, the poster has already caused a lot of ink to flow, especially on social networks where it has been called "pawnographic". Illustrated and designed by Koltsov, DA and illustrator of the Shuka agency, it could as well be a nod to the crocodile page of the Codex Seraphinianus as to Vasarely's paintings.

Never has a game of chess been announced that... stimulating.


The chess legend Kasparov, to whom the picture has been sent many times, got his Twitter line from Tim Rice's musical Chess: "I get my foot above the belt, my quail!"

Viswanathan Anand (5 times world champion) was pleased to see "finally a position in which (artificial intelligence) DeepMind will have to do more than calculations. If you're in that position, you can cross yourself off Santa's list right now!"

The Shuka agency has also developed its official logo without lower limbs, to be used on merchandising products. The poster is already on sale in the official shop as a collector's item, even before the start of the championship.


In this spirit of "punch poster" it reminds us a little of the one imagined by George Lois in 1990 in which the profiles of Kasparov and Karpov revealed the King.

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