Institute of Sport was founded by Swiss sportswear brand On Running and Grocery, a concept store in Copenhagen, as a way of fostering links between sport and community-building. The Institute’s visual identity, designed by Copenhagen-based creative agency Astrae, follows the stylish pedigree of both of the brands behind it, and references the “innovative technology” used by On Running through “science-related visuals”, according to the agency.
Dots and scattered typographic layouts are a recurring motif throughout the identity, which, besides creating visually appealing designs, symbolise a group of people practising sports. Meanwhile the contrast between lo-fi, motion-blurred photography and angular graphic details creates a satisfying balance within the identity.
It also makes use of Therma, a stretched monospace typeface developed by the agency, which is inspired by mechanical devices like calculators, receipt printers, and classic video game consoles. “Therma has a technical feel to it that worked well with the science-inspired direction,” says Astrae co-founder and creative director Carl-Emil Storm Gabrielsen. “It also has some resemblance to fonts used in college varsity apparel, which is a strong symbol of community and sports.”
The analogue inspiration behind the typeface is mirrored in the logo itself, which, like other graphic devices seen throughout the identity, resembles a clock face. “The pixelated circle in the logo is actually inspired by a symbol we saw on the back of a grated parmesan cheese bag,” explains Gabrielsen, who draws parallels between the humble inspiration and the Institute’s philosophy, noting that “although it’s a bit far-fetched, it kind of fits with the more social, less-performance based mission [of] the Institute”.
It may have modest origins and an accessible philosophy, but the identity still manages to be tasteful and aspirational.