First opened in New York, NY in 1991, Equinox is a range of luxury, full-service fitness clubs with 66 locations across the U.S. and one each in Toronto and London. Featuring pools, spas, personal training, custom apparel, concierge services, Equinox is not your average gym that you don’t go to. Its advertising has even sparked a number of controversies throughout the years, from a 2008 nun ad to last year’s Terry Richardson-led campaign. This year, Equinox will begin rolling out a refreshed identity designed by the New York office of The Partners and ad campaign by Portland, OR-based Wieden + Kennedy.
To reimagine Equinox’s personality while keeping the brand uniquely unpredictable and energetic, The Partners amplified Equinox’s expertise on high performance living, reflecting its inspirational luxury and daring attitude.
As part of the process, The Partners enhanced the brand’s marque, which was derived from the original ellipse logo, keeping elements of Equinox’s famously provocative tone while infusing classic and bold components. Emphasized by a bold black and white color scheme and a dramatic treatment developed for the logo, The Partners took a premium approach to typography and a clean, uncluttered layout, making the design look more sophisticated and contemporary. Visually, this was the next step for Equinox to create a distinctive tone that accurately reflects the brand’s promise of “substance with style.”
Provided press release
It’s amazing how much an ellipse and a swoosh can cheapen a logo. I wouldn’t have paid more than $50 a month for a gym with the previous logo on it but I would less-grudgingly pay $100 for a gym with the new logo. I’m not saying it’s a great piece of typography but at least it’s more in tune with the attitude that they are trying to portray. The “O”, which before had a black streak through it from the orbiting swoosh, now looks a little out of place as an “O” with a diagonal stencil break on it, but I can see why they kept it. (You know, like, equity and stuff). Removing the extraneous element from the logo has allowed the type to be bigger, bolder, and steamier.
In application, the full-bleed logo looks pretty great against all the black backgrounds and ripped, sweaty individuals while the thin sans serif provides the obligatory luxury feel. The campaign and enhanced brand vibe is perfectly clear in the kind of audience Equinox wants to attract: rich and beautiful people. For most of us, who aren’t rich or beautiful, the whole thing can be wildly off-putting — it’s not even something that seems worth wanting to be because it looks so damn annoying. But let’s assume you are the target audience — if so, what are you doing reading a logo blog?! — then this is a perfect brand evolution delivered through a simple and sophisticated identity.