Thanks to our relationship with CIC Events, we won the opportunity to develop a new logo design and subsequent brand identity for the Avon Descent. For us, this is pretty much the same as doing the Avon itself in a high powered jet boat- Exciting! And more than a little bit scary.
This is an event with decades of history that is genuinely famous within Western Australia and well known across the country for the extreme nature of the physical challenge and the spectacular action the event produces every year.
CIC Events took over the Avon Descent for the first time in 2013 and since then have been working on an exciting schedule of change with the managing bodies to reinvent the race. With requirements including elevation of the logo to a more modern 'look and feel', reinvention, a variety of directions and the visual re-positioning of the event, the challenge was set.
As is so often the case, the design of a new event logo was being done at least partly to signal that the event is alive, full of energy and still evolving. A visual change to a brand is often used to signal deeper and more significant change in the an organisations culture, service, products or simply the way they do business.
Following our success and the client team's satisfaction with the logos we designed for the Race Around Rottnest, City Beach Tri Series and Velofest, the team at CIC Events were keen to use this opportunity to push the boundaries with this event. The aim was for the cvreation of a strong gtraphic logo that would stand out as different, relevant to the event and distinctive in the modern market.
We approached this challenge as we would any other, with a brief, collobaration with the client team and our own designers, and a broad approach to initial concepts. As the best ideas emerge and we identify the strongest contenders, we refine and test the ideas, look at different fonts, line weights, colours and various formats and lock-ups.
While our approach is alsways strategic, design remains a creative process and because of that, it is always somewhat 'organic'. Some ideas take longer to become their best. Some are almost perfect when they first appear. Other ideas are immediately attractive, some are 'growers' and prove themselves over time.
Time. It's a valuable asset for any design project because it gives all ideas the best chance of revealing themselves through the creative design process. The final Avon Descent logo you see here is the result of two rounds of concept development and a revisiting of the brief. Interestingly, the final chosen logo was a part of the first round of concepts, but it was only after exploring other directions that its strength became obvious and it became the preferred option for both the client team and our own designers.
Change can be a difficult process and with many people involved and a brand with a long heritage, emotional attachments to the old logo are inevitable. So, have we achieved 100% happiness with all Avon Descent stakeholders? Perhaps not, yet. But the majority of the team are excited by this new direction and re-inspired when they see the tranformation of the brand, which is still developing as we apply the new logo to different materials. It takes time to get used to something that is radically new and as the new Avon Desecent is applied to a growing list of material, excitment and acceptance increase, for everyone.
We love this logo for its graphical strength and the visual cut through it achieves. We love it because visually it suggests 'descent' and a jagged route, which is exactly what this event is about. It is a progressive idea for an event that is evolving to enter a new stage in its life. And, this logo is flexible enough in its application to work on all sorts of material and retain its visual strength no matter where it appears.
If you haven't been before, head up to this year's Avon Descent. The rain is falling as we write at it promises to be action packed as those crazy people take on the white water and rapids with white knuckles and nerves of steel.