The cut and thrust of a new mark for fencing

Hoping to broaden the appeal of fencing in the run up to the Olympics, studio Shaw+Skerm has designed a great visual identity for a campaign to help promote the sport in the UK

Hoping to broaden the appeal of fencing in the run up to the Olympics, studio Shaw+Skerm has designed a great visual identity for a campaign to help promote the sport in the UK…

British Fencing approached the London studio to create a visual identity for Go/Fence, the organisation’s program that helps introduce people to the sport. It is hoped that the work can then be fully developed into a brand.

It’s a timely move. The Olympics will undoubtedly trigger interest in many minority sports and the Go/Fence initiative is naturally keen to capitalise on fencing’s increased exposure next year.

One of the aims of the new identity is to try and change the perception of the sport as an elitist activity and make it appealing to both younger participants and veterans alike. A difficult job – but we think the designers have pitched this one perfectly.

In an unfussy piece of design, which plays on the notion of the ‘slash’ as both a visual symbol and dynamic action, Shaw+Skerm has managed to capture the excitement of the sport but also move it away from its rather traditionalist image bound up in parries, thrusts and touchés. Here, it’s all about the angles with the ‘slash’ echoed in the typeface, even in the positioning of the text on a business card (shown, top).

“A core proposition – i/Fence, We/Fence, You/Fence, Go/Fence – enabled us to develop a brand which targets a wider audience through a consistently pro-active message,” say the designers. “The Go/Fence identity incorporates a modified slash; in reference to a sword which is featured in the logotype. This device has become central to the visual look and feel for the brand. A flexible, visual language that creates instant stand-out from it’s competitors.”

Following a soft launch last month, Shaw+Skerm has art directed a photoshoot and is continuing to design communications materials including event collateral, brochures (note the recurring ‘slash’ device), postcards, badges, certificates and apparel. They have also drawn up a set of brand guidelines (the identity also works really well in white out of black) which will be used by internal resources and affiliates, with a full launch due in September.

More of Shaw+Skerm’s work at shawandskerm.com.

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Senior Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency

Head of Digital Content

Red Sofa London