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Animal Redesigns an Energetic New Identity System for Reebok Running Squad

Design Log 30 Jan

Kunel Gaur of Delhi-based creative agency Animal talks to us about redesigning the identity for Reebok Running Squad and how it inspires the runners of today.

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Ever since its inception, Animal has worked on a score of projects across the  fields of identity design, film and advertising. Recently, they were commissioned to redesign the brand identity for Reebok Running Squad, a unique initiative by Reebok India, designed to provide professional fitness training for free to those interested in developing the right running technique.

For runners, the track is their home; it is a sacred place that helps them unplug and break out of the rut of 9-to-5 living. Animal finds inspiration in the track itself, bringing in motion and continuity into the identity. In conversation with Creative Director Kunel Gaur, as he traces the project.

What inspired the various elements of the redesign?

We wanted the design idea to be simple and to the point. The identity borrows its core sentiment from the running path - hence the derivation of a continuous shape that runs throughout the logo forming the letters RRS, combined with the delta of Reebok. To establish the broad concept that would surround the identity, we discerned where the true essence of running lies - the continuum formed when incessant motion is coupled with the mind’s singular focus in that particular moment.

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Reebok Running Squad patterns

Did designing for motion influence the process? Or was it the other way around?

Motion is an integral part of the business for Reebok, even more so for an initiative dedicated to professional fitness training and guidance. So, it was imperative for us to go kinetic when it comes to the identity. At the same time, we had to make sure it’s simple enough to be extendable in all different formats, online and offline. Hence, the incorporation of motion in the identity design - to ensure that runners relate well to it and recognize that it belongs to the same sphere of running.

How did Reebok’s brand vision play into building the identity?

Reebok Running Squad is one of the oldest entities when it comes to professional fitness training in India. It appeals to the serious runners, divided on the basis of regional chapters or zones, represented in each city. The brand’s vision - Fulfilling Potential, merged seamlessly with our broad concept for the identity.

Own your zone - the core idea for Reebok Running Squad was derived from the idea that runners should not be differentiated on the basis of where they stand professionally or skill-wise, but their will to keep running, and running in a way that sets them apart from the surroundings, even if for a couple of seconds. It combines the ways in which a runner takes ownership of that running zone - both literally and mentally.

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Original and redesigned Reebok Running Squad logo

How important do you think it is at the moment to use design to shape our collective consciousness and the experiences that surround us.

Design, whether good or bad, has always subconsciously played a role in shaping how society observes, thinks and acts. The important thing is constantly making sure we know which is which. Good design can also be key in educating people, and making them understand the nuances of things they might not have paid attention to, if not seen visually, right in front of them. People, consciously or unconsciously, learn a lot from what is it that they’re looking at, and design lets us alter that in a positive way. If you wish to revolutionise the way people think and their inferences from ground up, design is key. Good design is also contagious. When people see good design, it’s transformative for their personal work and processes, albeit subtly.

Design Log is a weekly design document logging every relevant art and design occurrence in India.