The cultural impact and history of the Super Mario logo

Super Mario Logo

If you’re familiar with the video game industry, you’re probably already aware of the Super Mario logo. Considered by many to be perhaps the most iconic gaming emblem of all time, the Super Mario logo is recognized in regions all over the globe. 

Even if you’ve never looked into Super Mario logo history before today or wondered where the iconic design came from, you probably know all about the game. Super Mario, a character introduced in 1985, is one of the most valuable IPs owned by Nintendo. 

At least one game related to the Super Mario series has been released for every major Nintendo console. 

Nintendo uses Mario, the core character from the game series, as their mascot. Today, we will be taking a closer look at the Super Mario logo. 

We’ll explore where the design began and why the emblem has become one of the most famous video game logos of all time. 

Let’s dive in. 

When was the Super Mario logo first introduced?

Super Mario, otherwise known simply as “Mario” or the “Super Mario Bros,” is a platform game series designed by Nintendo, one of the world’s leading game developers. 

The Super Mario franchise was first developed in 1985, but official logos for the title only really started emerging around ten years later. Before that time, numerous title cards were used in conjunction with Mario games. 

The Super Mario games typically take place in the Mushroom Kingdom, a fictional world where players control Mario as the main protagonist. In some cases, Mario is joined by his brother, Luigi, as well as other well-known characters. 

While the plot varies from game to game, most involve rescuing a kidnapped Princess Peach from the primary game antagonist, Bowser. 

The Super Mario series today is part of a much larger Mario franchise, which includes a host of other video game assets, as well as television shows, films, printed media, and merchandise. 

Nearly 400 million copies of Super Mario games have been sold around the world, making it the fifth best-selling video game series of all time. 

Super Mario logo history falls into two different segments. There’s a primary Super Mario logo connected to the entire franchise, which has remained relatively consistent since it was first introduced in 1996. 

You may also be familiar with a range of additional Super Mario logos introduced for different titles in the series. 

Let’s start by looking at the primary Super Mario logo. 

Super Mario Logo

1996

The original Super Mario logo used to represent the entire franchise was initially created in 1996 and was used consistently by Nintendo in various games and assets for around 15 years. As you can see, the emblem features a blocky, bold wordmark set across two letters. 

All of the letters are designed in unusual shapes to make them look more playful and fun. They also feature a variety of different bright colors intended to capture the attention of a younger audience. The colors of red, yellow, blue, green, and white stuck with the logo as it evolved in later years.

Super Mario Logo

2011

In 2011, the official Super Mario logo was updated and refined. The letters grew a little wider in shape, and the spacing between each character diminished. The spaces between the letters in this logo are also filled with black color to make the overall image look more unified. 

While many of the same colors from the previous Super Mario emblem remain in this wordmark, they do appear to be slightly darker. 

Additionally, the way the shades have been distributed between letters has changed a little too. Only the “A,” “R,” and “O” of Mario retain the same colors that they had in the previous design. 

The Super Mario Bros logo: Alternate logos

As mentioned above, while the official Super Mario logo hasn’t changed much over the years, various logo variations have been introduced for different games. The very first Super Mario Bros game (introduced in 1985) didn’t include a version of the official logo above. 

Super Mario Logo

Indeed, many of the initial games in the series had no core logo but instead used box designs featuring unique word marks and images of Mario himself. 

Super Mario Logo

In 2006, when the “New Super Mario Bros” game was introduced for the Nintendo DS, it almost appeared to be introducing a new logo in the form of a white wordmark with a bold black outline. 

This logo followed the Super Mario Bros series on the DS for some time and captured significant attention from customers. Many saw the design as an alternative to the official Super Mario logo, and further video games produced in the Super Mario Bros line also included similar emblems. 

Super Mario Logo

Super Mario Bros Wii, created for the Nintendo Wii, features almost the exact same wordmark on its game box. 

Looking at the game franchise, it seems the Super Mario Bros logo is usually the wordmark written in black and white block letters, while the Super Mario official logo is generally a variation of the multi-colored emblem showcased above. 

At the time of writing, there’s also a new Super Mario Bros movie in the works, produced by Illumination with financing from Nintendo and Universal Pictures. The movie is the franchise’s third film adaptation. 

The poster for the movie appears to use a version of the Mario logo, which falls somewhere between the original official Mario logo and the 2011 version. 

Super Mario Logo

The color palette and font style is very similar to the most recent version of the primary Super Mario logo. However, there’s no black spacing between the letters. In the movie logo, the bulky, colorful characters also spell out the words “Mario Bros” rather than “Super Mario.” 

The Super Mario logo: Fonts and colors

Bright, colorful, and brimming with youthful appeal, the Super Mario logo is now one of the most recognizable emblems in entertainment history. It’s a design virtually every consumer is familiar with, regardless of whether they consider themselves to be video game fans or not. 

This vivid and eye-catching logo has captured the attention of young and old gamers alike for decades and continues to be an iconic symbol in the market to this day. If you want to take a closer look at the official Super Mario logo, you can find some useful resources below:

While the coloring used in different variations of the Super Mario logo for various games in the franchise has varied, the core logo colors have remained the same since 2011. 

The Super Mario logo color palette has always included a combination of blue, yellow, orange, and green, with black outlines for each letter in the wordmark. 

The official Super Mario logo colors are:

Spanish Sky Blue
Hex color: #0EA0DB
RGB: 14 60 219
CMYK: 94 27 0 14

Yellow
Hex color: #FFD109
RGB: 255 209 9
CMYK: 0 18 97 0

Lust    
Hex color: #E52E26
RGB: 229 46 38
CMYK: 0 80 83 10

Bice Green     
Hex color: #46AF4A
RGB: 70 175 74
CMYK: 60 0 58 31

As mentioned above, the Super Mario Bros logo color palette is usually depicted in white and black. However, there have been different variations throughout the years. 

What font does the Super Mario logo use?

Like many of the world’s most famous video game logos, the Super Mario emblem uses a custom font. The Super Mario Font is a sans-serif, bulky, and uneven typeface intended to demonstrate joy, movement, and excitement. 

The Super Mario logo has become an icon of gaming history. Although every new title introduced into the franchise may have featured its box design, the core Super Mario logo has remained almost the same since its inception. 

Though the design was refined in 2011, it has always been a fun, festive, colorful wordmark. 

The Super Mario logo aims to convey ideas of fun and excitement, capturing the attention of a young audience and generating intrigue. 

Today, it’s one of the most successful video game logos of all time, and it’s easy to see why. 

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

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