id Software

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


id Software was founded in 1991 by John Carmack, John Romero, Tom Hall and Adrian Carmack. The company is best known for its role in the development of PC gaming, which extends to the gaming industry as a whole, such as the creation of the modern first-person shooter with Wolfenstein 3D in 1992, the popularization of the genre and online multi-playing with Doom in 1993, and the creation of the modern 3D FPS genre with Quake in 1996. Since 2009, the company is a subsidiary of ZeniMax, where publishing rights would then go to Bethesda Softworks.

In the company's earlier days, no real logo was used, even though it did appear on the credits (and with a different design in pre-Doom games). The first real logo was used on the Mac and 3DO ports of Doom with an animated logo first appearing in Quake II.

1st Logo (1995-April 26, 1996)

Visuals: The common corporate logo at the time, with the letters "id" overlapping each other and "SOFTWARE" below. There is also "INC" at the tail of the logo.

Technique: A still, digital graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Only seen on the Mac port of Doom and the 3DO ports of Doom and Wolfenstein 3D.

2nd Logo (December 9, 1997-September 11, 1998)

Visuals: On a brown rusted steel background (similar to the console's texture from the first Quake), the id logo ("id" in a box) gets punched in on the background a little bit at a time. First the top part of the "i", then the bottom part of the "d", suddenly the rest of the "i" and "d", then the top part of the "d", and finally the lower left corner.

Technique: CGI was possibly used for the base logo, and simplistic cuts may have been used for the animation.

Audio: Five pounding sounds.

Availability: Seen on Quake II for PC, alongside on its two official mission packs "The Reckoning" and "Ground Zero". Also appears on the Zeebo version of the same game.

3rd Logo (September 30, 1999)

Visuals: On a black background, there is the "'id' in a box" logo in white. The logo has black faded smudges and creases.

Technique: A still graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Appears on the PlayStation version of Quake II.

4th Logo (December 2, 1999-October 10, 2000)

Visuals: The concept is the same as the second logo, except updated. On a brown stone background, the lower left of the logo pounds through. The logo is carved in a gray stone background, and as the logo pounds its way through, the brown stone crumbles as dust falls down. Then the top middle pounds itself in, then most of the logo inside the square appears, then a bit more, then the whole logo pounds into the screen and back as dust falls.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Same as the second logo.

Availability: Seen on the original PC and Dreamcast versions of Quake III Arena.

5th Logo (December 18, 2000-October 18, 2005)

Visuals: The camera moves across a laboratory full of evil-looking equipment, tubes, gauges and steam knobs (a la LTI Gray Matter). The machinery seems to be attached to a large breathing organ with the "id" logo, now yellow, carved on it, which the camera bumps into. The organ then dims, becoming less visible.

Variant: In Quake III: Team Arena, the logo fades out.

Technique: Same as the last logo.

Audio: Sounds of working machines, steam and pulse, ending with a bump sound.

Availability: Seen on Quake III: Team Arena, Doom 3 and Quake 4, as well the PS2 and Xbox versions of Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

6th Logo (November 19, 2001)

Visuals: On a black background with rain falling to the ground, the white "'id' in the box" with the faded smudges is superimposed on the background with "an" above and "software game" below. The words are white as well.

Technique: A still, 3D graphic.

Audio: The opening theme of the game.

Availability: Seen on Return to Castle Wolfenstein for PC.

7th Logo (August 18, 2009-)

Visuals: The sequence starts with a red image of what appears to be a medical shot of a human head from the side. The image begins to exfoliate and parts of it zooming, as the camera moves through the brain cortex, which already turns blue. Then the camera moves along the blue nerve through a network of other nerves, and towards the shining node. When the camera bumps it, it shows the id Software logo.


  • In Doom (2016), Doom II: Hell on Earth (packaged with Doom 3: BFG Edition), and Quake Champions, a still version of the logo is used.
  • On later id games, the logo is in warp speed.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A small click at the start and synth wheezing as the camera moves.

Availability: Seen on Rage, Wolfenstein (2009), Doom 3: BFG Edition, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Doom (2016), the free-to-play Quake Champions, the 2019 Nerve ports of the classic Doom games, and Doom Eternal.