When it launched in the 90s, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was chaotic. Rules were minimal, fighters didn’t worry about weight classes or evenly matched skill sets, and controversy was never far away. The fight promoter didn’t bother much about branding either, with posters and other graphics from events adopting a more is more approach with clashing type, cartoon logos and on-screen fighter stats that looked like they’d been lifted from a video game. It didn’t seem to matter however, because people loved it; over 86k of them tuned in to the first pay-per-view, UFC 1, in 1993.
After a period of massive expansion, UFC realised its branding needed overhauling and in 2015 commissioned design studio Troika to update everything from the logo and posters to TV broadcast graphics. The company – which now counts 625 million fans around the world – returned to the studio in 2022 for another update, needing more graphic tools to facilitate real-time betting and engage with fans, particularly in the wake of explosive social media growth. Troika designed a custom typeface, UFC Sans, as well as new motion graphics and design elements to allow for better storytelling and production value across TV and social.