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    Brand and Identity System for Big Shoulders Barbell club, a CrossFit gym in Chicago, Illinois run by Champion Olympic Weightlifters and fitness p… Read More
    Brand and Identity System for Big Shoulders Barbell club, a CrossFit gym in Chicago, Illinois run by Champion Olympic Weightlifters and fitness professionals. Chicago is the city of Big Shoulders, so it was only fitting to utilize a gorilla as their mascot. Read Less
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Big Shoulders Barbell Club
Branding • Consulting • Illustration • Print 
Chicago, Illinois
Worked with an ownership team of Olympic weightlifters and fitness professionals based out of Chicago, Illinois to launch their newest CrossFit Box. The process started with some consulting on name and branding until settling ultimately on "Big Shoulders Barbell Club" as Chicago is dubbed the City of Big Shoulders. At that point, we jumped into our research phase of the project. This involved not only research about the Chicago and other influences, but also introspective research with the clients on their wants, needs, and expected problems. The ownership is extremely well versed in bringing brands to market, making this not only a much more efficient process, but began to yield some early design direction full of ideas, geared towards their needs and issues. 
At this point I drew up a mood board with some inspiration and direction, which got full support from the client. The client was pushing for a sports logo/team direction that would attract competitive athletes, but at the same time wouldn't alienate older clientele just trying to get into shape. We discussed a gorilla mascot that looked "pensive and serious, but not angry". At this point, it was time to jump head first into the sketchbook.
Preliminary marks were reviewed by client and internally for feedback. We were on the right track, but needed adjustments of color palette and form. This stage of the process required further research and understanding of gorilla anatomy as well, involving library trips for books on gorillas, trips to the gorilla area at the zoo, and posing like a gorilla in the mirror to understand how the muscle groups interact to create a life-like look. I utilized the photocopiers, tracing paper, and scanners and continually honed down to get the look we desired.
After a good few rounds of internal critique and feedback with the client, we were stoked to come up with the marks shown above. At that point, a system and rough brand guideline was built out based on their need and use, followed by business cards and letterhead for professional use.