Evolution of Rated Awesome

Sources:
The WayBack Machine
Rated Awesome

The Story

For a bit of context…

Rated Awesome (RA) is an online gaming community I started back in March of 2012. Obsessed with Team Fortress 2 at the time and it’s huge player base, RA was my attempt to get more involved with the community. We started off small, hosting only one game server, but over the next couple of years would eventually expand to four. You can find out more about the overall project on my portfolio page or check out our website.

As with any public group, the rise in popularity and player growth came with its fair share of obstacles. This mostly involved general server maintenance and creating an online presence our players could associate with (branding, style, forums). In an attempt to keep costs low (instead of hiring a graphic artist), I took it upon myself to tackle each of these obstacles and what came next were a series of erratic changes spanned out over the next couple of years. Below is the remnants of the evolution of Rated Awesome.

A Changing Logo

Over the course of several years, I was constantly changing my mind about our logo design.

The First Logo (Mar - 2012)
I googled Rated Awesome and this was one of the first few images that popped up. Twas' a simpler time.
My Design (Dec - 2012)
I started learning illustrator and messing around with typography in my free time. This became my first logo design.
Paid Job (Feb - 2013)
I realized I sucked at design, but didn't want to spend $$$ for a logo. Paid someone on fiverr for this one.
Paid Job 2 (Nov - 2013)
I got "bored" of the old design and decided it was time for a rebrand.
New Artist (Jul - 2014)
With advertisement revenue coming in, I decided to hire an actual graphic artist. He also made this.
Rated Awesome 2 (Jan - 2017)
After a long hiatus, Rated Awesome's revival needed a new logo. The previous design was further simplified.
Failed Designs
Some of the logo designs that were never made it past the first stage.

The Website

Learning to design a proper website with matching schemes and complimentary typography was rough at first. Our website went through A LOT of changes. Unfortunately, these are the only snapshots I could recover from the WayBack Machine.

Evolving Forums (Mar - 2013)
I spent months testing different forum systems before finally landing on this one. I kept modifying the theme though...
The Shutdown (Jul - 2014)
With an increased workload, I couldn't focus on the forums anymore. They were eventually shutdown.
Today (Jan - 2017)
Do I really need an image for this?

Final Thoughts

Looking at all these images and how they impacted my community has certainly been a trip down memory lane. Despite the many restless nights working with photoshop, I can say for certain it was worth it. Not only did I learn something new with each change, but it helped me develop a sense of good design. I still have a ways to go so by no means are the changes going to stop anytime soon!