When I first started working on Chess.com a long time ago I began with the logo. Some would say that is the least important decision to be made, but Chess.com was a totally blank page - an empty domain name. Creating the logo was more of an exercise in determining what the site would really be about. What would the focus be? What would be the site values? Who would be the exact target audience?
Why the pawn?
There were already a bunch of sites out there where one can just play chess. I wanted to instead create a community. Also, many sites appeal only to experts and above. Maybe that is why they have King or Rook logos - because they are powerful pieces. But in choosing the pawn I wanted to send 2 signals.
#1 - This site is a fluid community
It has been said that "pawns are the soul of chess". One meaning of this is that the pawns dictate the character of the game. The position and interaction of the pawns determine what the game looks like and where the other pieces may and may not go. It can be a closed game with long, blocked pawn chains, or an open position with central pawns off the board. The point is that the pawns create the environment. And I wanted the members of Chess.com to be the backbone of the site.
#2 - This site is for everyone
We're not all Kings and Queens yet! Chess.com should appeal to all chess players - even those that don't yet know the rules! At the beginning of a game the pawn symbolizes the weakest of all the chess pieces. However, as the pawn makes it's journey up the board it becomes more and more powerful, controlling more important squares, and eventually, if it reaches the other end can be whatever piece it wants. I wanted Chess.com to be a site for chess players who are at any point in their personal chess journey - either making their first move ever, or a Grandmaster.
Thanks for becoming a member of Chess.com. I hope that you can be an active participant in making Chess.com a great site for everyone, and I also hope that Chess.com can serve you in your chess journey!