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The Fighting Fantasy Logo became an almost ubiquitous symbol across all Fighting Fantasy related books and products after its introduction in 1984. However, it had a number of variations, mostly in colour rather than design, and as a registered trademark of Puffin Books it was not used by Wizard Books who formulated their own new logo.
Pre-August 1984 IntroductionEdit
- Main article: Coloured Number Format
The original publication of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain had no Fighting Fantasy logo at all. When it was published there was no prior knowledge that the concept would be popular and therefore no agreed format for future books or logo needed. However, after it became apparent that the concept of Fighting Fantasy was a success further books were published. Immediately, a style was adopted for the book covers and on this cover was the number of the book surrounded by a large coloured star, the colour of which varied between titles.
Meanwhile, the Sorcery! epic was also being published, but by Penguin Books as the adult version of Fighting Fantasy, but at this point not part of the same franchise. These covers had also adopted the concept of the number of the book in the series being on the front cover in large type on a bright coloured background, but in this case the shape being a jagged edged triangle in the top corner of the cover.
In neither case was there a defined logo.
Fighting Fantasy LogoEdit
From 1984 to 1986Edit
- Main article: Adventure Gamebooks banner
In September 1984 the Fighting Fantasy Main Series gamebook Scorpion Swamp was published. This was published under the Adventure Gamebooks banner with the green colour specific to the main series and it was notable that emblazoned atop of the banner was a new symbol. This symbolor logo, designed by David Grogan, was that which is shown to the left, being a green shield over the top of which is a dagger bisecting it. On either side of the dagger are the capital letters F and F in white and underneath these letters, but across the base of the dagger are the words Fighting Fantasy in white also. From this point onwards all Fighting Fantasy products published or endorsed by Puffin Books would carry this symbol. Steve Jackson would later say of the logo: "And the logo with the sword with the little face on it. Oh God, it was awful, but it sort of worked." This would be a constant up to and including the publishing of the twenty-fourth book, Creature of Havoc at the end of 1986.
In November 1984 Puffin Books published The Seven Serpents, the third book in the Sorcery! epic. In so doing, they had taken over the Sorcery! franchise from their parent brand, Penguin Books. The book was published under the Adventure Gamebooks banner of Puffin and although it was denoted within this banner as a Sorcery! Epic book and used a red shield as opposed to green.
From 1987 to 1995Edit
- Main article: Dragon Cover Format
The Dragon Cover Format was employed from 1987 in the main series and when this occurred the symbol on the covers changed colour to the yellow version with black writing, that had already been seen on Out of the Pit (1985)and Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World (1986). Even when these titles were republished, ostensibly as part of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy series, they retained the yellow symbol. Perhaps for printing reasons, the colour did vary very slightly in this period, going from yellow to amber, as in on the cover of Sky Lord.
Old School Logo - 2012Edit
- Main article: Old School Cover Format
As mentioned previously, the Sorcery! series adopted this new logo. Whilst Puffin Books was using the Adventure Gamebooks banner, the four Sorcery! books were all published with the logo as described above, in red with white writing. This did not alter as time passed and even when the Dragon Cover Format was introduced in 1987, which affected the Sorcery! books as well, they kept the same symbol. There is one exception to this. In the Dragon Cover Format, (or in the case of Sorcery!, the Black Dragon Cover Format), Book 2, Kharé - Cityport of Traps was published with both its number and the writing on the Fighting Fantasy logo in black, not white. This is the only instance of the logo having this combination.
Advanced Fighting FantasyEdit
The Advanced Fighting Fantasy books, which began in 1989 with Dungeoneer, employed a blue theme, with the AFF banner and spine and back cover being in blue. The symbol was no exception and thus was blue with black writing. What is notable is that AFF also employed perhaps the only true variation in design on the logo, but only on the spine of the three true AFF books. This symbol used the dagger from the main logo but not the shield and also had the word ADVANCED underneath it instead.
There were a number of other variations which appeared to be used to differentiate different products:
- The two-player gamebooks Clash of the Princes employed a lime green symbol with blue writing. Had there been more two-player Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, they may well have used this symbol.
- The Fighting Fantasy Bookmarks that were published in 1986, during the time of the green logo, differed from the main series in that they inverted the green colour and made the shield and dagger black, with green detail and green writing.
- The Fighting Fantasy Miniatures and associated items such as the paint set and Battlegame rules used this White version with black writing. The Fighting Fantasy Jigsaws also employed this white version.
The computer game adaptations also had their own versions of the Fighting Fantasy logo. The very first computer game adaptation for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain occurred before the logo was introduced, hence it did not feature any variation. Later releases were different:
- In November 1984, three months after the logo had appeared in the Sorcery! series for the first time, an advert appeared in the magazine Computer and Video Games for the adaptations of The Citadel of Chaos and The Forest of Doom. This advert had the new logo which was a red wire-frame version on a white background with red writing.
- The adaptations of The Citadel of Chaos and The Forest of Doom for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 both had in common a different version again of the logo, being a black background with yellow writing. This was quite striking but these were the last adaptations by Puffin Books themselves and the logo was not used in this way again.
- The AdventureSoft conversion of Seas of Blood used a white wireframe version of the logo, i.e. the detail and writing was white, but the background was see through. The word SOFTWARE appeared underneath the logo. This was used only for this title, because in later conversions AdventureSoft were explicitly named as the developers rather than the licenced name of Fighting Fantasy Software that they used for this title. Also U.S. Gold became involved after this point as distributors.
- The logo used in the AdventureSoft adaptations of Rebel Planet and Temple of Terror was essentially the same as that used by the main series from 1984 to 1986, being green with white writing, although arguably the green is darker. The reason why the white wire frame version used in the Seas of Blood conversion was not used may have something to do with the fact that US Gold were involved in the publication of these titles as well.
The Logo's Cameo AppearanceEdit
- The logo appeared on the belt buckle of the Inquisitor from the illustration accompanying (262) of Return to Firetop Mountain. This was also a cameo appearance for Ian Livingstone.
The Logo on Clarecraft OrnamentsEdit
- See, On Clarecraft ornaments below
Wizard Books LogoEdit
Wizard Books created their own logo for the Fighting Fantasy series, helping to establish their identity on the franchise and breaking away from the original Puffin identity.
The basic design is a studded shield with the words Fighting Fantasy seemingly embossed on the shield. For books based on the main original series, this shield was silver, and this applied to original Wizard books as well. For books based on the original Sorcery! series the shield was golden. Interestingly, a detailed look at the two shields shows that apart from the difference in colour the shields differ very slightly in design as well, based on where the smaller studs appear. The Sorcery! symbol always appeared with the number of the book within the Sorcery! series on top of it, with the exception of when the symbol appeared on the boxset for Sorcery!.
Special Limited EditionEdit
The first run of each book published by Wizard Books was marketed as a "Special Limited Edition". There were two versions of this, the Fighting Fantasy Main Series based books and the Sorcery! based books, despite the fact that these two original series were merged into one series by Wizard Books.
- Books based on Main Series had the silver circular logo physically standing slightly proud of the cover (effectively embossed) with the words "Special Limited Edition" surrounding its circumference. Notably, Wizard Book 14, Armies of Death, was not published in the "Special Limited Edition" format due to printing reasons.
- Books based on Sorcery! series were differentiated in the cover design. The Wizard Books Logo for Sorcery! differed as well, in that it was gold not silver. This sat in the bottom right hand corner and in the case of the Sorcery! series, the number of the book as it appeared in the sequence of the Sorcery! series (as opposed to where it appeared in the sequence of the Main Series) was written in white type on top of the logo. In the "Special Limited Edition" the logo was embossed but instead of the words "Special Limited Edition" surrounding its circumference (as with the main series), the Sorcery! books instead had the words "Steve Jackson's Sorcery!" surrounding the logo circumference.
The Wizard Logo's Cameo AppearanceEdit
- Interestingly, when Ian Livingstone appeared in a cameo as a friendly merchant, in the illustration accompanying (329) of Eye of the Dragon the Wizard logo appeared in the merchant's storeroom. This is in keeping with the Puffin logo appearing in a previous cameo appearance by Ian Livingstone as the Inquisitor in Return to Firetop Mountain.
The Wizard Logo on Clarecraft OrnamentsEdit
- See, On Clarecraft ornaments below
On Clarecraft OrnamentsEdit
In 1992 Clarecraft were officially licensed to produce Fighting Fantasy based figurines. There were originally 13 designed, numbered JL01 to JL13. These ornaments had small stamps on them with the Fighting Fantasy logo. In particular, piece JL13, the Fighting Fantasy Statue Plaque/Bookend, sculpted in 1992, was essentially the Fighting Fantasy logo. It was for this reason that this piece was not re-released in 2004, which in itself was associated with Wizard Books. In the 2004 re-release, the pieces did have the Wizard Books logo shown in a small stamp on them.
Other Logos in the Adventure Gamebooks Banner FamilyEdit
- The Cretan Chronicles logo was very similar to Fighting Fantasy, in that it had the initial letters of the series (in this case C and C either side of an article bisecting the shield, but in this case it was a Corinthian column.
- Starlight Adventures departed from the generic style by employing this star symbol instead, in keeping with the name of the series.