by Rick Mullenix | Community Manager
In recent months I’ve noticed a surge of logo contests for CrossFit organizations. I had known that CrossFit was gym related, but didn’t really know much else. As more contests began to open for them I decided I should try to learn more about what it was. I believe that kind of knowledge is key for graphic designers to effectively design a creative and meaningful logo. Since there’s no sign of CrossFit slowing down, I wanted to write about what it is and the design trends that seem to be standing out in recent CrossFit logos.
WELCOME TO CROSSFIT
CrossFit can be described as a high-intensity, group work out. It has been specifically designed so that anyone of any age can join. It draws many types of personalities including former athletes, military, police, fitness junkies, weight training, and anyone looking for community and support in their work outs. The point is to maintain a high level of physical fitness so that the body is ready for anything. You can find local gyms and fitness centers that offer CrossFit classes, or even some CrossFit centered gyms.
Being accessible to anyone is a huge draw. Everyone works at their own level, but the group element offers encouragement to push yourself to expand your limits. This is achieved by timed, repetition based workouts. A beginner would reach the time limit trying to hit the targeted repetitions for a given exercise, while someone more advanced would be trying to beat their time or someone else’s time with the targeted repetitions. There are even online charts so you can note your times and repetitions and compare that to people from all across the country. Workouts include kettle balls, medicine balls, wall balls all at different weights, barbells, and a lot of your body. There are different sets of exercises everyday so that you won’t get bored. The routines are even named after women to make them more memorable. CrossFit has become so popular that Reebok has been sponsoring CrossFit sporting competitions.
You’ll find on the website www.crossfit.com a text-based logo of the word “CrossFit,” the C and F uppercase and rest of the word in lowercase. The font used is Impact. Although it can be made to look awful at times, I think Impact is a smart choice. It’s easily accessible, usually pre-loaded on most computers or software. Using a text-only logo allows it to be combined with graphics or mascots of local CrossFit groups. This allows local groups to have visual ties back to the official CrossFit organization. I like the capital C and F, it’s a nice little touch that causes it to stand out.
If I had to offer one hard critique I would change the font. Maybe I’m just not a fan of Impact, but I think a san-serifed font with a circular “o” would give it a more modern look. A font like Century Gothic or Nexa Bold. Using Impact makes it look bulky, which could be seen as muscular, but I believe a modern san-serif would give a more lean and strong appearance.
STYLES & ELEMENTS
I personally love the style that has developed from many CrossFit logos. Even though they have been under the direction of many different contest holders, there are repeating characteristics that you’ll see used in unique ways. One of the foremost is the grungy distressed look, to signify the raw and intense workouts. Military shields, crests, and stars are common due in part to the structure and strength that CrossFit provides, but also because it draws in current and former military personnel. Sci-fi fonts are commonly used for their sleekness and curvature. They also stand out more easily when combined with the CrossFit text logo.
There have also been some unique elements used in CrossFit logos. Medicine balls and barbells are common elements that serve as interesting graphics. Exceptional letter combinations, particularly with the letters C and X, create intriguing icons. Skulls can be used to symbolize the die-hard attitude that participants adopt to push their bodies in punishing ways (puking is common among masochists in CrossFit). Silhouette poses of tire flipping and the “Clean & Jerk” let the audience know exactly what they’re in for. Finally, in order to reach out to their athletic roots, stylized and aggressive animal mascots have been adopted.
CrossFit is defined by its intensity and accessibility. It should be seen as inviting and aggressive, kinda hard to do if you think about it but a fun challenge for sure. The logo’s featured in this blog (all contest winners) marry the two concepts successfully. But don’t let the style and trends mentioned here hold you back or box you in, designers and contest holders alike. Just as in CrossFit, push yourself personally to explore the design elements used and discover new ways to display them. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this brief introduction to CrossFit and it’s design.
If you have any thoughts about the design elements used or have tried CrossFit yourself please share your experience in the comments below!
We would love to hear from you!
Also don’t miss our new infographic: Is Your Logo A Cliché?
CrossFit Dead Lift image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Men & Women Doing CrossFit image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
CrossFit Haywood, and CrossFit Trinium by edesigners; CrossFit San Carlos, CrossFit Alter, and South Lake Crossfit by PRN123; CrossFit Calder by Ultimatum; X-CrossFit by suraj_greenweb; CrossFit South Tryon by Ingepro; CrossFit 5070 by wagjm; The Wanting, Lowry CrossFit, and CrossFit Sarasota by Jaize; CrossFit 3Deep by ryuzaki; South Hall CrossFit by alel.