By: Bobby Stickel

"Empowering our community to prioritize play." That’s the mission statement that launched every project we outlined for building this brand. And it’s one that means a lot to our team, and to me personally. At the start of the brainstorming process, we narrowed down a long list of words that we wanted the Active Player Network to communicate and represent. We settled on the following:

  • Multifaceted
  • Modern
  • Energetic
  • Welcoming
  • Imaginative
  • Dynamic
  • Progressive

We spent several hours over several meetings over several days, each person sharing their vision and their personal experiences that they felt would add to our mission.

Next, we needed a logo, and I want to give a little insight as to how the logo was born. I had a lot of prerequisites for the team going into this process. One of them was ‘no meeples.’ It seems like every logo has a meeple in it, and we simply didn’t want to add to that noise. At the same time, this logo needed to be very identifiable by our audience, so the iconography needed to make our target audience ‘feel at home.’ Yes, d20s are also common, but in the end we made it our own when we merged the d20 with a pineapple (like you do).

Wait, what?! Pull up a chair and hear me out.

I’ll spare you all the research I did and will just pare it down for you: The pineapple has been an American and European symbol- in architecture, in international trade, and in the home- as a symbol of ‘welcoming, community, hospitality, and prosperity.’ Author Lynn Means writes:


Warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality.

Today you can find fine examples of this detail throughout many historic homes and estates in the South. Be sure to particularly look around main entrances and walkways, where guests would be most likely to pass or linger. Two favorite pineapple locations were the pediment or transom over the front door, and finials on or around the front gate. And if you look carefully around the inside of these old homes, it’s not uncommon to find the pineapple cleverly carved in areas around the main foyer, staircase and fireplace mantles – again, places where visitors would tend to gather.”

There was our connection! Our hobby, at its core, is about gathering together and sharing a good time with one another. We’ve all read countless articles about how the tabletop gaming hobby fosters social networking, communication skills, stronger relationships, etc.  We wanted our new brand to be a living ambassador of all those qualities. But we also wanted anyone NOT currently in our hobby to feel welcome. Remove barriers to entry, take down walls of social stigma, bring people of all walks of life together using the best tool we all have access to: Play!

With centuries of symbolism already a part of our logo, and the ubiquitous d20 to help everyone understand our very social hobby, we felt like we finally had proper representation of the Active Player Network’s mission of ‘empowering our community to prioritize play', which brings us to today.

Welcome to the Active Player Network!