Helsingborg Marathon – Graphic identity

Helsingborg Marathon – Graphic identity

Client: Helsingborg Marathon
Role in project: Designer

Made while employed at Wolfgang, together with Art Director Rikard Gartmyr.

About the client:
The first edition of the Helsingborg Marathon has been in planning since 2012, when the founders first started playing with the idea of organizing a new marathon race. They quickly realized that Helsingborg offers a great variety in environment and that the coastal line and natural rift that Helsingborg provides is unique. One of the first things they said when they came to Wolfgang for design and strategy help was:

“We want to be the best looking marathon in the world”

The main incentive being their mounting irritation that marathon organizers never seem to invest any money on design. And I couldn’t agree more- it doesn’t take a humongous marketing budget to be able to spare some thought to design, yet most marathons really do look hideous and have THE most confusing websites known to mankind.

Concept and design of graphic identity:
So on our mission to create the world’s best looking marathon (a rather tall order, we hoped to at least be the best looking in Sweden), we had several things to ponder, the main question being: what makes an identity memorable?

For us the answer was simple, literally: Simplicty and persistance. A clear symbol, a strong typeface, a relevant but also appealing color- and an incredible amount of stubbornness- that’s the recipe. So we created a super simple, but also elegant and Helsingborg-spirited logo, which we made sure was used consistently not only when placing logotypes, but when shaping printed material- such as for example business cards (they were shaped like the symbol- super nifty), and so on, so forth. We also chose a lovely teal color to symbolize the sea for which Helsingborg is known for but also proud of, and chose a title font which just screamed Sport and Action! Furthermore to communicate Helsingborg and Sea, the prize statues were designed in glass, for which we specifically asked that they don’t remove the bubbles- as to keep the ocean feel.

And yes we wanted to create Sweden’s best looking marathon- but we also wanted to make sure that we didn’t go berserk on the “design” part of it all. Meaning, we didn’t want it to look like it was designed by a team of architects whose color library consists of black, white and perhaps sometimes- gray. Sorry for the over-generalization- I know it’s sounds silly coming from someone who has a B&W-filter on their website startpage. Anyway, basically it still had to be super clear that the identity was in fact for a marathon, something fun, competitive and healthy!