In readiness for the increased exposure that the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro would bring, our brief was to revolutionise the sport of fencing in the UK – in a way that would completely reinvent its public perception and broaden its appeal to a wide range of audiences.
The new brand needed to clearly reflect the organisations’ recently defined brand values, which would subsequently enable it to be perceived as a world-leading, credible and highly professional sporting organisation at the forefront of the sport on a global stage. It also had to pay homage to the three sword disciplines – Epee, Sabre, and Foil. The new brand would be the benchmark that competitor organisations would aspire to.
DeliverablesApparelArt DirectionBrand GuidelinesBrand IdentityBrand PositioningCopywritingEvent CollateralPhotography
Our solution was the embodiment of precision and sharpness. The simplicity of the idea allowed for the three sword ‘slashes’ to slice through the logotype – which became the unique icon that would be immediately recognisable as British Fencing. Our logo and visual style are prefectly aligned, with dramatic angular shapes (graphically depicting the movement of the three fencing weopons) cutting through our imagery and messaging.
We wanted to challenge people to think differently about Fencing. The sport should dare people to be different as it has the potential to appeal to many different types of individual, whether that is a creative person, a ‘gamer’, or someone that is simply competitive. Fencing is a sport with centuries of history – dating back to when Kings and nobility used to duel for honour, and yet requires all of the skills more usually associated with the high velocity Olympic sports: speed, strength, dynamism, and power. But more than that, it also rewards those with guile, strategy, grace and speed of thought. To bring this to life, we spent time with photographer Richard Moran and some of the elite fencers at the Leon Paul Centre in North London – capturing the key movements, actions and duels in beautifully original, authentic, high definition ways.
In post-production, we worked closely with the photographer to create a distinctive blue treatment for the backgrounds that worked to reinforce the Britishness and to accentuate the athletes in the composition.
We created a distinctive visual language that gave energy to the typography and graphic shapes – which allowed for a consistent rollout across posters, advertising, banners, online, media backdrops, apparel, merchandise and event collateral.
We produced a brand guidelines that documented the usage of all core assets across all channels. And together with the logos, the final suite of brand images were so strong – and true to the sport – that everything came together quickly and seamlessly ahead of the Olympics opening ceremony in August 2016.
Every Games provides incredible opportunities for sports to capitalise on the global attention that the Olympics brings. British Fencing not only recognised the importance of having a new brand in place, but were clear that this brand had to appeal to everyone. From the gamers that can immerse themselves in a whole new world, through to the general British public that are in awe of the style, skill and athleticism of their heroes.
With recent high profile successes and highly marketable ambassadors, Fencing is becoming increasingly popular with a tech and digital savvy British public – and as a consequence is a hugely attractive and enticing proposition for sponsors and partners alike.
“We were looking for an agency that could help us get behind the mask of fencing and bring our brand right into 2016. The team at We Launch displayed the passion for the sport and had a portfolio of work that made them the natural choice. From the moment that we met, they immersed themselves in the sport, really understanding the brief and the audience, Always flexible and accommodating in the way that they worked with us, they constantly went the extra mile to achieve the best results.
We are very excited about the results so far and are looking forward to bringing the brand to life even further over the coming months.”
Georgina Usher, Chief Executive Officer, British Fencing