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The Future of Fandom

Fandom logo with tagline background.png

Welcome to the future of Fandom.

By now, you’ve probably noticed that we have a new logo and new colors in our global navigation bar, along with a new color for the footer at the bottom of every page. As of August 3, 2021, with the FandomDesktop rollout nearly complete and the completion of bringing Fandom and Gamepedia wikis onto one Unified Community Platform, we have officially relaunched the Fandom brand.

This page is going to take you through some of the details behind the relaunch—why we relaunched the brand, what the new brand means, some changes to the Fandom.com homepage, as well as a look at some upcoming brand-related changes that you can expect later this year and into next year.

Why We Relaunched the Fandom Brand

When we rebranded from Wikia to Fandom in October 2016, it was a much different time in the company’s history. There was a lot of focus on original content, like editorial, and amplifying that through traffic referrals on user generated content, the wikis. We were about to launch Featured Video. Discussions and social experiences had a big emphasis. The wikis were still there too, of course, but they weren’t being given the center spotlight. So the original launch of the Fandom brand meant that the story we were telling about Fandom was not as true to the core experience as it could have otherwise been.

We also didn’t have a full fledged Marketing team at the time, whereas we do now. That meant a lot of things that go into a brand beyond the visual components either were not there or not as strong as they could be—like the brand mission, vision, story, and promise, plus how you bring those together in a coherent way that can permeate throughout the operations of our company as well as create a positive experience for fans and our communities. With a new Marketing team, and with stakeholders from throughout different parts of the company, we got to work defining those key brand components and really hone in on what we want Fandom to mean.

A clear brand is essential for growing awareness of the brand amongst fans. Right now, brand awareness of Fandom with fans is very low. Most fans who come to the wikis land on a page that they found on a search engine results page, find the information they were looking for, and then leave without ever knowing they were on Fandom and all the great content that your wiki has to offer. In order to stay relevant, brands need to evolve alongside other changes in broader economic, consumer, and cultural trends. And that makes them a dynamic, ever-changing aspect of a company or platform, rather than a static, unchanging expression of identity.

We can start building brand power by defining Fandom's brand story, which in turn can build greater fan association of Fandom. A strong brand is ultimately a powerful shortcut to trigger memories, spark emotional connections, inspire fans to take more actions on the site, and fuel habits that make it more likely fans will keep coming back to Fandom and spending more time on your wikis not just because they clicked a search result but because they know and trust the site enough to return.

Ultimately, our vision is to be the entertainment and gaming fan's first choice for community and experience. Our mission is to understand, inform, entertain, and celebrate fans by building the best entertainment and gaming communities, services, and experiences. At the core is the wiki experience, which we spent the last two years revamping to a modern MediaWiki experience and new look and feel that brings together elements of Fandom and Gamepedia’s identities. And in addition to wikis, we also have video properties like Honest Trailers and gaming properties like Dungeons & Dragons Beyond, Cortex Prime, and Fanatical for fans to dive deeper into their Dungeons & Dragons experience, tell new stories with Fandom-produced Cortex games like Tales of Xadia: The Dragon Prince Role-Playing Game, and consumer subscription services with Fanatical.

What the Relaunched Brand Means

At Fandom, everything we do, we do for the love of fans. Together with our fans, we work every day to build a place of joy without judgment, where people belong, simply because they’re a fan.

We celebrate the diversity of fans and fandoms on our platform, and welcome every and any fan, whoever they are: streamers, players and viewers, movie buffs and movie goers, comic and manga readers, collectors, curators, creators, and more. There’s something for everyone to explore on Fandom. And very possibly something to love, too.

​​Brand launch welcome poster B1.jpg
Everybody deserves to be recognized as an individual with unique perspectives on life, opinions, and fandoms. Thus, everyone may love something different. Or love the same thing, but differently. And we’re here for it!

Our new brand tagline brings these beliefs to life, simply and succinctly:

For the love of fans.

Because we believe that diversity makes the world a more interesting place (and because we couldn’t resist) we’ve created the tagline in such a way that our fans can take a hold of it and make it their own. “For the love of ____” is a flexible, modular adaptation of our tagline, and the more it is used and personalized, the more it reflects the breadth, depth, and diversity of content and people on our platform.

As we relaunch and continue to grow the brand, wiki editors like you will have even more opportunities to continue creating great content, build communities, and partner with Fandom. Together we will find even more ways of bringing your community to life and building a great and welcoming experience for the 315 million fans who visit your communities every single month.

To see our story come to life a bit more, check out this video about how Fandom is for the love of fans:

Brand launch welcome poster A.jpg

As a brand evolves, it’s only natural to have a new identity to come with it that reflects what the brand aspires to be and what it stands for. After exploring literally hundreds of different logo concepts, we arrived at what we call Fire & Passion, which you can see on the poster to the right.

The new logo combines a heart, an evolution of Fandom’s heart logo, with a flame. The flame is somewhat similar to the former Curse logo, so it’s fitting that a heart and flame element are coming together now that Fandom and Gamepedia wikis have come together at the end of the Unified Community Platform and Unified Consumer Experience projects. Together, they tell a powerful and understandable story about Fandom and how fans, both casual and creators alike, feel about their favorite fandoms. Not only does it reflect back on what we already know about being fans, but it reminds us about what we love about being fans.

As was said earlier, a strong brand is memorable. That includes the look and feel of the brand, using powerful imagery that sticks with fans. With the new logo comes a new color palette that reinforces that sense of Fire & Passion. That color palette and the logo are versatile, and there are a lot of cool things we can and will be doing with different variations of it across products, content, and events. We are excited to use this identity as we bring our brand story to life more and more in the future.

The New Global Navigation Bar

The release of FandomDesktop brought with it a number of changes to the site, including moving Fandom’s global navigation bar from the top of the page to the left-hand side of the page. Part of the reason for making that decision was that we had not seen any strong brand awareness or meaningful engagement with the global nav at the top of the page, so it seemed like the right time to try something new while also providing space for more on-page functionality (like the local navigation being sticky on the top of the page as you scroll). So with the creation of our new brand identity, that meant we also had the opportunity to put a new look and feel for Fandom in that new left-hand space.

For the new global nav experience, we decided to build it in an adaptable way so as to provide different versions for logged out users and logged in wiki editors. After all, these are different audiences with different needs, so this felt like an appropriate place to continue with the theming personalization we currently provide in the new Theme Designer and user preferences. To start, here is what the logged out version looks like, using Wookieepedia as an example:

Global navigation new branding logged out.png
The new logged out global navigation on Wookieepedia.

Immediately, you’ll notice the yellow color. It’s a lot more eye-catching than the previous green version that we had for the last several years. The new color is bright and energetic, and that’s the point. We want it to be more noticeable for the tens of millions of fans who use Fandom every month without knowing what site they’re on, so we’re hopeful that this moves the needle on people recognizing that they are on a platform that has a lot more content and experiences they can discover beyond the page they landed on from search results. To drive more attention to the buttons on the nav as well, we updated the icons to better reflect the new branding, and we’re excited to bring more personality to it than there has been before.

While something bright and memorable makes sense for people who are just discovering what Fandom has to offer, we knew that a brighter color palette could be too noticeable for the logged in editor experience. You already know Fandom. You know what it has to offer, what it’s about, and what site you’re on, so the same goals don’t apply. Whereas we don’t want the Fandom brand to blend into the background of any individual page for casual users, it can take more of a back seat for wiki editors.

We’ve implemented light and dark themes for logged in users that will appear depending on your preferences. If you select the light theme, you’ll see a white version of the nav that blends in with the light theme experience. Conversely, if you select the dark theme, you’ll see a purple version that better fits your dark theme experience. “Wiki default” will continue to give you whichever version of the theme that the admins of a given wiki have selected.

Here’s what this looks like:

Logged in global navigation (light) Logged in global navigation (dark)
Global navigation new branding logged in light.png
Global navigation new branding logged in dark.png

Both of these colors are still within our color palette, so it stays true to the brand while reflecting the versatility of how we can use the brand identity in different ways for different audiences. This also carries over to banner notifications, your message notifications, as well as the search modal, all of which carry your light and dark theme preference with you as you engage with those parts of the site. These little touches take note of what you have decided you want your theming experience to be.

A New Look for the Homepage

A great homepage tells a clear story of what a website is all about. It conveys brand, it conveys content, and it conveys to a user exactly what they are able to do on that website. Knowing that, it’s safe to say that the Fandom.com homepage hasn’t lived up to that potential. With an endless scroll experience and a focus on Fandom-generated content and content curated from external sites, the homepage has reflected a moment in time from a different strategy Fandom used to have that was more focused on news and stories.

With the brand relaunch, we knew we wouldn’t have time to launch a full revamping of the homepage, but we wanted to start to make some strides by redesigning the existing experience. We took an approach that expresses the breadth and depth of content that Fandom has to offer, exposes more content in one view than the endless scroll experience, and creates a strong brand presence.

Fandom new homepage brand relaunch.png

You can visit Fandom.com to fully see the experience, but you can see a screenshot of what it looks like on the right. It’s no longer an endless scroll experience, but one that shows off some of the major categories of Fandom communities and content. It immediately places the brand at the top of the page and gives visitors a clear direction of how they can search for their favorite topics. At the top we have curated content that we can plug and play with, and then some of the Top Wikis on our network. Because we haven’t had the time yet to redesign the functionality of how the homepage works, these are hardcoded and won’t change based on trends, but our long term goal is to revamp that functionality. Same goes for the Movies, TV, and Games sections—we have curated content from our Editorial team, along with hardcoded wiki pages from each section that shows off the breadth and depth of content.

This is the first time in the last five years that wiki content has had a prominent place on the Fandom.com homepage, and we’re excited to finally bring that back. With the global navigation on the left, we also have more connective tissue between the homepage and the wikis to continue a similar viewing experience. It’s only yellow for now, for all users, but over time we may carry over light and dark theme preferences to the homepage too.

There’s more work to be done on the homepage in the coming months. You’ll notice that if you dig into the topic pages that they don’t have this new branding yet. We weren’t able to fit that into the scope of this project, but we do have a longer term homepage revamp project that’s coming. The goal is to have new functionality in addition to a visual refresh, so the homepage can become even more useful to visitors. When someone clicks Games, Movies, or TV in the global nav, we know that there’s a lot more that we can do to serve those fans and bring them great content that reflects all of Fandom, particularly wikis.

More to come on the continued revamping of the homepage in the months to follow! In the meantime, be sure to also check out our corporate homepage refresh, including the new “What is Fandom?” page that shows off what Fandom has to offer and the new “About Us” page that tells our story as a company.

What’s Next?

We have a lot of exciting opportunities coming up around the brand! The weekend after the brand launch, on Saturday, August 7th and Sunday, August 8th, we invited key admins from top Fandom communities to attend a special, second virtual Community Connect for 2021. We talked about FandomDesktop, the future of the product experience on Fandom, and more, including diving deep into the brand relaunch and how it came about. Attendees heard from, and asked questions to, a panel of company leaders that served on the brand working group and helped to create the new brand story and identity. Attendees also had the opportunity to take part in a breakout session about how we can partner to bring the brand to life within our communities, which generated a number of great ideas that we can incorporate into future opportunities.

With a new brand also comes the opportunity for putting a stamp on what Fandom is, as well as what Fandom is not. Over the coming weeks, our Community Safety team will introduce a more robust Community Creation Policy that clearly states the kind of content we believe belongs and thrives on Fandom. It won’t be too surprising, more of a formalization of existing practices, but we are finally putting them to virtual paper. Fandom is about fan communities coming together in a joyful and thoughtful way to celebrate their passion. Topics that divide us as fans, as community, or just as people, do not belong on our platform. Fandom has already been stricter with divisive content the last few years, and this relaunch just felt like the right time to codify this more clearly.

We will have more to share about the brand relaunch, including fun press stories that we will be featured in along the way, in the coming weeks and months. Along with some other additional brand-related opportunities that we are pursuing. Be sure to keep checking out the Fandom Staff Blog for more!

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

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