The Sims 4

Electronic Arts

  • Consumer Insights
  • Trend Research
  • Visual Identity
  • Design System
  • Motion Graphics

Crafting a New Design System for the Next Wave of Sims Fans

Sims 4 Cottage Living

The Process

The Sims is one of the most beloved gaming franchises.

It empowers players to bring their creativity to life by creating and controlling their own Sims, exploring vibrant worlds, and playing with how the moments of their lives unfold.

But, since The Sims brand was last refreshed, a lot has changed. Gen Z are the most open-minded and diverse generation in history. To resonate with this next generation of fans, The Sims asked us to help them create a playful new design system and refresh every aspect of their brand.

Sims 4 ISO Pack

Characters as Diverse as Gen Z

We started this project with research and synthesis to better understand the newest generation of players. Our work was guided by the insight that today’s youngest consumers shape their multifaceted identities by engaging with communities of shared interests. From here, we identified micro-influencers across multiple lifestyle categories that became our character muses and helped clarify our archetypes.

Through a series of iterative sketches, we explored the relationships between these characters and developed their backstories to ensure that every detail, from their personal style to their interactions with each other on the pack front, was authentic and culturally resonant.

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Sims 4 Sketch
Sims 4 Sketch

A New Plumbob

As the keystone of The Sims franchise, the Plumbob is instantly recognizable and beloved by fans, but its former skeuomorphic look felt dated. We saw the opportunity to make the Plumbob really shine, creating an illusion of depth and multifaceted dimension. The gestures and graphic elements that the updated Plumbob inspired became essential to creating fresh in-game moments as well, including the load screen intro animations

Sims 4 Pattern

Unmistakably Vibrant

Our goal was to develop a vibrant, unmistakable design system capable of creating clear space and playfully grabbing attention anywhere The Sims shows up—whether it’s on a billboard, on social, or in-game.

Working in close collaboration with The Sims team, we reimagined every aspect of the system to ensure that each expression, no matter how large or small, reflects the exuberance of Gen Z and The Sims.

At the same time, because our newest audiences have an ever-expanding range of interests, we knew we needed to create a system that was flexible enough to incorporate whatever their community is interested in next. This meant refreshing all of the current Sims packaging and social assets, and building an extensible approach that is intuitive and easy for players to reference as they build their libraries.

Skylight has been an incredible partner for the Sims team. From Key Art to brand refreshes, they streamline our process while infusing creativity into everything they do.

Mary Rauzi
Creative Director, The Sims
Sims 4 Banner

Working as a seamless extension of their distributed global team, we continue to partner with The Sims team to reach new audiences and design experiences that extend the system into new platforms and contexts.

Read more about our ongoing collaborations with The Sims here.

Sims 4 Merchandise