Case Study: CrossFit Charleston

by | May 30, 2019 | logos

Most businesses are multipurpose – they offer different products or services but all under a common umbrella. So, when it comes time to develop a logo or other branded marketing materials, it can be tough for the client to settle on an overarching “theme.”

It’s also important to remember our potential customers can’t focus on multiple messages. We need one simple message to grab their attention and move them to action. A logo that tries to do too much runs the risk of confusing customers and pushing them away.

CrossFit Charleston came to me looking to refresh their logo and create some new marketing collateral. In addition to their group CrossFit classes, they provide individual and corporate nutrition programs. Owners Holly and Clint Fisher wanted something that would reflect the focus on overall health and wellness.

sketchbook sketches of crossfit logo
I hit the sketchbook to rough out a bunch of ideas

We discussed a variety of icons and fonts for the logo. Holly was specific in that she didn’t want anything too “hard core.” People are often intimidated by the prospect of CrossFit, so a skull and crossbones logo was out. Tons of other CrossFit gyms around the country use kettlebells and skulls in their logos so we wanted to stay away from those cliches. Plus, Clint and Holly bought this existing gym in July 2018 and wanted to put their own unique stamp on the brand.

“I think it’s always easier to know what you don’t want rather than what you do,” Holly said. “We also knew we’d be living with this logo for quite some time and wanted to get it right.”

digitized logo icons
digitized icon concepts created on the computer

Often clients simply need a starting point. They need some designs to help them narrow down the vision they have in their head. I provided some logo and font concepts for CrossFit Charleston. None of the icons seemed to resonate so we ultimately decided on a typographic logo (aka no icon.. like Netflix or FedEx) that’s in the same family as the main CrossFit logo.

Still, something was missing. We discussed the need for some sort of icon to use largely on social media. After all, the “words” part of a logo rarely look good smashed into the circular profile picture of a social media account. We tried several different designs, but nothing quite clicked. I suggested they might be expecting too much from the icon and why not give one they liked a trial run. As a small business, it’s often easier to give graphics a test drive and then tweak as needed.

“Andrew said we were asking too much of the icon and he was right,” Holly said. “We wanted that one icon to define our brand, but, in truth, a lot of images and graphics help tell our story.”

We landed on this icon:

Icon in two color options and IG mock up
icon in two color options and IG mockup

Holly and Clint are planning to use it on social media and other digital materials. They can try it out and gather feedback. Not putting it on all the signs, printed brochures or banners means it can easily be changed without the expense of reprinting a bunch of materials.

I’m very pleased with the icon and the solution I was able to help my clients reach. In that respect, my job is part designer and part advisor. I listen to client concerns, questions and ideas. I offer advice and guidance. Together, we solve the problem in a way everyone loves.

“Logos are tough. They feel so personal,” Holly said. “As business owners, we see the logo as a reflection not only of our business, but also of us as the owners. I greatly appreciate having an outside perspective like Andrew’s. He can provide that practical insight that we can’t see because we’re too emotionally tied to the project.”

With the logo completed, we were able to move on to other materials for a business expo: two rack cards, business cards and a pop-up banner. The results were a success!

collage of promotional assets including pop up banner, business cards, and flyer
clockwise from left: pop up tradeshow banner, business cards and flyer

Have you been considering a new logo or marketing material? I’d love to help! Shoot me an email.

Have a great week,