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New Logo and Identity for Invictus Games by Lambie-Nairn

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Reviewed Jun. 9, 2014 by Armin

Industry / Sports Tags /

Announced in March and set to take place this September, the Invictus Games will be an international sporting event for “wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women” from fourteen participating countries, specifically from “the armed forces of nations that have served alongside each other”. Organized by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence, the Invictus Games will be played at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and sports will include athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball, and a driving challenge. The identity for the event has been designed by London-based Lambie-Nairn.

Various British personalities and athletes recite “Invictus”, an 1875 poem by English poet William Ernest Henley.
“I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

So ends the poem ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Henley

The logotype for the ‘Invictus Games’ captures and elevates this unerring belief in the human spirit. From a branding perspective it turns a belief into a clear purpose. It’s not what the games are endeavouring to do, but ‘why’ they’re doing it that’s ultimately important. The Invictus Games provides a platform for personal achievement; a platform for our wounded warriors to compete, not just against each other, but against themselves; and the chance to prove that ‘I AM’, which fortunately for us sits right at the heart of the name.

Lambie-Nairn project page

New Logo and Identity for Invictus Games by Lambie-Nairn
Logo detail with tagline.

The biggest accomplishment in this project isn’t so much the execution but spotting the “I AM” in the name of the event and using it sparingly as a standalone identity element. It gives the logo a hook and it grounds the name of the event to be more personal. It’s unfortunate that the “I” of the first line and the “AM” of the second line align in such a weird spot: neither the center nor flush-left but somewhere, uncomfortable, in-between. Particularly glaring in the logo lock-up above. Still, the effect is clear and meaningful with a pairing of a sans and slab serif that go well together. Luckily, in application, the logo can be balanced out with additional copy.

New Logo and Identity for Invictus Games by Lambie-Nairn
Print ad.
New Logo and Identity for Invictus Games by Lambie-Nairn
Various ads.
New Logo and Identity for Invictus Games by Lambie-Nairn
Hero image.
New Logo and Identity for Invictus Games by Lambie-Nairn
Event materials.
New Logo and Identity for Invictus Games by Lambie-Nairn
New Logo and Identity for Invictus Games by Lambie-Nairn
Prince Harry at the Games launch announcement.

The various ads are the best part of this identity, perfectly illustrating the double reading in the logo. Even the centered type arrangement set on the left side of the page looks good. The photography is also key, blending perfectly with the black, gray, and yellow color palette of the logo — and how can you not feel inspired by these folks as you toil away at a computer with your perfectly functioning index finger clicking on that mouse? Overall, the execution could be a little sharper, but the message comes across loud and clear.

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