Ninjas in Pyjamas have rebranded their 20-year-old logo and colour scheme, but have faced a backlash from a number of irate fans.
Founded in 2000, Ninjas in Pyjamas are a Swedish esports team. Their brown-on-black logo had stayed the same for years, but designers were worried about increasing technical issues the lack of contrast created.
The new logo still features the name, but has doubled down on the ‘ninja’ iconography, creating a shuriken with a kanji inside. The kanji reads ‘nin’, and the new bright colour was introduced to address the inflexibility of the previous iteration.
According to The Verge, the colour scheme was influenced by the streets of Tokyo, incorporating a bight yellow to stand out against any background. Designer Sunny Bonnell said of the rebrand: “I felt that was something they could truly own. They were lacking something to say. They had cool apparel and great teams, but they didn’t really have anything else that was giving them a story to tell.”
Fans took to Twitter to make their feelings known to Ninjas in Pyjamas, however, and many criticised the new look. One claimed it was “the worst rebrand in esports history”.
i have no words this might be the worst rebrand in esports history just no words
— AHK (@AHK_cs) January 25, 2021
Some worried the ‘iconic’ old logo had been sacrificed in the change.
And just like that, the iconic NiP Logo is gone…
— Najo (@NajoOG) January 25, 2021
And some kept it simple.
this looks shit lmao
— poopenfarten (@blackshrek2) January 25, 2021
The Ninjas in Pyjamas logo is used for a range of different outlets, including social media, jersey badges, and in-game weapons. Bonnell commented on the reaction, saying that “there’s a lot of hate in esports that I don’t know if I was prepared for, I had to stop reading the comments, because I was like ‘Oh my god, I want to cry in my cornflakes.’ This is really bad.”
Bonnell did also comment on the longevity of the design, after some esports teams had reverted back to their original logo to appease fans. She claims this will not happen, saying of the teams’ rebrand: “First they’ll be ridiculed, then they’ll be revered”.