Åsa Wallander about the 2D art in Sayonara Wild Hearts

I started designing the Sayonara Wild Hearts logotype quite early, so all I had to go on was the name “Sayonara Wild Hearts”, and the fact that motorcycles and music were going to play a big part in the game. The heart shape had been established, so it seemed like a good idea to base the logotype on that shape. We wanted something that was both angular to express retro-futurism, and something that looked like a blackletter font, to make it feel inspired by motorcycle club emblems.

I always start sketching logotypes on paper. It’s quick and you don’t go into details too early. Using a gridded paper, it’s also easy to compare sizes and harmonize the different parts of a logo.

I made an entire set of numbers and letters of the typeface that I had used in the logotype, so we could use it for other elements in the game, such as the score counter, and the tarot cards. The logotype ended up becoming the inspiration for all other 2D art in the game, such as the tarot cards, and level select emblems, and 2D effects.

My typeface worked for short words, but we needed to find a font that matched the one in the logo, but was more legible for longer paragraphs of text in the game. We decided to license a font called Trigot, that I had stumbled across, after a long search through various blackletter fonts.

I think there were only one, or two levels of the game when I started on level select emblems. Despite its simplistic style, the first one took a long time to make. I’m not an illustrator and usually I stick to basic geometric shapes, and I struggled a bit to make the characters recognizable in the established angular style. I wanted the player to be able to deduce which level it was just by looking at the emblem, so it was important to choose key elements from each level, and make them easy to recognize. I didn’t think I would ever be able to make 22 variations that could all use the heart shape as a base, but somehow, I did, and I’m quite pleased how they turned out in the end.