Matt and Asama contacted us to talk about designing a new logo and associated branding for their indoor climbing facility (bouldering) located in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg North.
The guys were passionate about their business which was formed during the troubling Covid period and with the worst of that period behind us, it was time to create something they could be proud of. The Crux is an indoor climbing facility with the most impressive structure and boulder setup with bright coloured geometric climbing grips and graffiti inspired mural on the wall of the facility.
It was important to Asama and Matt that the logo was quirky and portrayed an aesthetic that could identify the business along with the climbers who attend on a regular basis. It needed to be warm and inviting but also inclusive to climbers of all abilities along with gender. Matt and Asama liked the style of branding and logos used in cafes and artisan food outlets and wanted to capture this within the finished logo.
We presented some initial concepts to the guys. One concept was using a very geometric typeface with bevelled edges and an eclectic colour scheme. Another version was more monochromatic however it didn't quite speak to the team. Asama and Matt went away for a few days and came back to us with a much tighter brief of what they were looking for.
The revised brief now included the use of a goat (famous for climbing) along with text which was more solid with a quirky edge.
Mark went back to the drawing board with the revised brief and came up with a wide range of different goat iconography in the form of a silhouette. These were matched with some more organic typefaces including a couple of really odd styles for the team to review.
The team were "feeling" these new concepts a lot more and after a few days deliberation, came back to us with a direction. We modified one goat silhouette by reducing the more masculine features. This included the horns which were reduced in size substantially and rounded off to be less intimidating. The sleek stomach area was also changed to look more rounded which could now be considered more gender neutral by reshaping it to be somewhere in between the udder of a female goat and the more streamlined male. The nose and muzzle was softened and other parts such as the tail were replaced with rounder and softer features.
The typeface that Matt and Asama selected, was redrawn by tracing the previously used typeface and modifying parts of it to be more quirky and freeform in shape.
We presented the revised logo in a number of forms to Matt and Asama. They then took the logo away to consider and came back to us with some suggestions. The hand-drawn typeface we had created using the previous version as a base had become too "loose" however they were very happy with the goat's shape and more gender-neutral form. We went away and tested a large number of new typeface styles for the team. We settled on a font created a few years ago by a new font foundry and then customised it by rounding off the corners and edges to create something truly custom and unique.
The team loved the new logo and signed off on the design.
We set about creating the branding guidelines document for the team using their suggestions for the type of collateral they would like to see designed.
We also created a suite of logos including the primary version, a goat version with the words "Crux" contained within the silhouette, a square stacked type only version and a vertical version.
We took inspiration from the coloured bouldering structure and used the heavy typeface used in the logo to produce some very heavy headings as part of the supporting font use. With minimal leading (the space in between each line) we kept the headings used in collateral super tight to the point of touching the line of text above it.
We used this bold brutalist/maximalist style to create a poster, flyers, signs, and social media tile examples for the branding guidelines. We also created a few different types of apparel from cropped sweaters through to hoodies and t-shirts to be sold in the retail store.
We think we created just the right amount of quirkiness in this logo and brand identity without going too far (thanks to the team's feedback!). We feel it really captures the essence of the Northern suburbs of Melbourne and cannot wait to see it's use!
Update August 2023 - We were impressed with the outcome of this logo for The Crux. We weren't the only ones, with the logo winning a place in the prestigious LogoLounge 14 publication which had 30,000 entries submitted!