Established in 1993, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the largest promoter of professional mixed martial arts — a combination of karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, grappling, wrestling, sumo and other combat sports — producing more than 40 live events annually that are broadcast in over 129 countries to nearly 800 million TV households worldwide. UFC has exploded in mainstream popularity in the last five years and has made superstars of some of its most charismatic fighters like Chuck Liddell and Ronda Rousey. This weekend, during the 2015 UFC Fan Expo and the Mendes vs. McGregor broadcast, UFC introduced a new identity designed by Los Angeles, CA-based Troika.
UFC’s new visual identity, designed in partnership with Hollywood-based branding and marketing agency Troika, celebrates the UFC position as an undeniable force in the world of sport. It further brings to life the UFC brand attributes: premium, electric and lionhearted, while also elevating UFC athletes as larger-than-life heroes.
The broadcast will feature innovations throughout the on-screen information system, enabling depth of storytelling while enhancing the viewing experience with a low profile footprint that does not distract from the action in the famed Octagon®.
Part ESPN, part Terminator, the UFC logo has never been a beacon of great entertainment identity and I had never really paid attention to how ugly that “C” was until it was fixed. (I don’t want that much UFC either, other than a few minutes here and there whenever the three women in my life are asleep, so I haven’t paid much attention to it). The change makes a huge difference and streamlines the logo, setting it up for another good 10, 15 years of service. The more interesting aspect of the redesign is the extended logo system that accentuates the angle of the logo to create a number of configurations for all the different UFC brand extensions and if you miss Facebook’s use of Klavika you can get your fix with this system. Compared to the previous hodgepodge of stuff they had, the new set of logos has a great hierarchy and consistency.
In application, the spaced-out sans serif adds a nice touch of bold sophistication that pairs really well with the mean-looking images of the fighters. In motion, there is some additional endorphins pumped into the identity to bring to life the angle of the logo and the condensed sans serif through some cool slicing and layering of type and graphics. If you’ve never watched UFC I feel like this new system captures perfectly what you would expect from a mainstream fighting event series: quick, bold, exciting. UFC is a sport and piece of entertainment that sells itself but having a tight, solid identity like this elevates its appeal.
Thanks to Rak for the tip.