Kat Whitfield Design
Kat Whitfield Design


Dear TSM, What is Your Logo?

Those who know me know that I'm a huge fan of gaming. I've been playing video games since before I can remember, and love to watch both professional and recreational players alike. 

One of the most prolific professional North American e-sports teams is Team SoloMid, usually just referred to as TSM. In spirit of League of Legends' 2017 Championship Series (arguably the most popular e-sport in the world), I thought I'd take this time to talk about TSM's logo, and how it drives me absolutely bonkers. 

What is TSM's official logo?

If you go to the TSM online shop, you'll find their logo in THREE different variations on multiple different products. I cannot figure out for the life of me which is the "official" logo, as all 3 versions appear on apparel, on the League of Legends' website, special in-game features, etc. 

Now, I'll be upfront here...I'm being really nitpicky. I don't think most people would notice much of a difference in the above logos, so here's an explanatory graphic for you:

The left and middle logos have uneven lines and what looks like a plastic knife in the white space between the 2nd and 3rd lines of the "M." The rightmost lacks this.

The left and middle logos have uneven lines and what looks like a plastic knife in the white space between the 2nd and 3rd lines of the "M." The rightmost lacks this.

Again, most people wouldn't care. But I sure do!!! And it's like an itch in the back of my mind that will not leave me alone. So I'd like to talk about some pros and cons to this logo, and propose a simple change to make it better. Maybe then I can feel some closure.



This is probably the biggest plus to this logo. It's base is so simple, constructed only of circles and straight lines that fits perfectly into a square. (The non-plastic knife version doesn't quite fit in a square, however) This alone make the logo perfect for the wide range of applications it has to fit. From somewhere it needs to be dressed up - such as a highlight video introduction - to the simplest application like a favicon, TSM's logo can easily adapt to fit the bill. 

Fits the Team Name

A small thing (I always appreciate cleverness in a logo), but the single line down the middle of the logo really invokes the team's name: Team SoloMid. This makes a bit more sense if you have knowledge of how League of Legends works, but it's safe to say most people watching pro League of Legends matches get the reference.

(If you're curious, League works by having 2 teams with bases at the opposite ends of a map. Your team has to fight their way down 3 different roads to your opponent's base and destroy it first - one of those roads being "Mid" aka the Middle lane.)



This is really the part that makes me crazy, and the primary reason I felt compelled to make this post. I'm not sure if there is some unspoken reason why they have to alternate between the three logos so frequently, regardless of the medium in which it's being applied, but I'd sure like to know it.

Come on, even on their Facebook Page!    (profile pic - Thin Middle Line / Timeline - No Plastic Knife)

Come on, even on their Facebook Page!

(profile pic - Thin Middle Line / Timeline - No Plastic Knife)

Either way, a new logo should be created that can be applied consistently so as to avoid potential harm to others who are bursting blood vessels trying to figure out why it's not consistent in the first place. (Just me...?)

Cramped Spacing

Speaking of white space, I feel that TSM's logo could use a bit more. It would make the letters a bit more legible and just let everything breathe some more, relieving a bit of tension a viewer gets when looking at it. This is one pro of the thin line version over the thick line, but the thin line also draws attention to itself by being MUCH thinner than the rest of the logo, distracting from the overall image.

Consistent Line Width & Shape

While the non-Plastic Knife logo has consistent heights and widths in most parts, the top of the "M" is still awkward, as it is in all of the logos. As well, to get rid of the "knife" the last line of the M ends in a sharp line, unlike everything else in the logo.

A 5-minute Redesign

We'll make a quick redesign to fix the cons listed above:

We've got two versions, one with even lines and even white spaces, the other with even lines and white spaces at 2/3rd the size. 

I decided to leave the plastic knife in because the non-knife version requires some weird shaping that is inconsistent with the rest of the design. (Also I didn't even notice the knife until someone else pointed it out to me! Now you'll never unsee it either) 

I also added an extra hook to the "S". With the extra spacing, the area looked quite empty without it. I also like the symmetry it adds! 

Personally I would go for version #2 with the 2/3rds white space. It looks stronger, definitely what you'd want for an e-sports team. Ezpz! 

More Team Logos? 

I'm thinking of doing a bit of a series as I've had thoughts on many e-sports teams' logos. As the profession is coming into some serious prominence, I think it's an apt time to make some comparisons to traditional sports and the evolution of their logos.

If I decide to go through with it, next on my list of logos that need some tweaks will be Team Liquid.