EF Pro Cycling | 2018-19
Rapha EF Brand Team, Boston EF Global Creative, Lucerne
2019 saw EF's Global Creative Studio team up with Rapha to design all kits, casual merchandise and cyclists apparel. As a company, Rapha also has a strong international and cultural element embodied into its brand. Off the back of the kit as the starting point, the Central Brand & Design Studio then created the wider art direction for the new identity.
Pro Cycling has been plagued in recent years by doping scandals, which have threatened the global integrity and appeal of the sport. In the midst of this, one team stood apart – openly talking about the subject, and publicly denouncing it as something that can't continue.
If a rider has used substances to enhance their performance before — fine, what's done is done — but if you're going to be a team member of the EF Education First team, then that will be a thing of the past. EF Pro Cycling prides themselves on being the most-liked team in Pro Cycling, and that starts with an integral attitude along with the utmost respect for the fans and the sport.
The sport is well known for its heavy sponsorship on every conceivable surface of anything to do with a team. Of course, marketing EF on a global scale is a prime motivation for getting involved with a cycling team, so making the logo as big and as visible as possible is a prime concern for internal EF stakeholders.
But simply making the logo bigger doesn't necessarily equal strong brand recognition or presence. Consumers often ignore logos that are simply made bigger and bigger, so a creative solution had to be sought. By cropping into sections of the EF logo, which is unique and memorable in its own right, we created dynamic graphic devices that feel akin to the sport. They have a movement and energy that when applied in the correct way, says EF semiotically but are also conscious of cycling and the visual aesthetic that surrounds the culture. We can make these crops bigger and bigger, to the point where they become abstract visuals that assist in communicating a feeling to cycling fans and potential EF customers.
Lots of creatives within and outside of EF interact with the EF Pro Cycling Team identity. It must be clearly explained through a robust identity usage guide so that consistency across so many touch points is maintained.
By ensuring flexibility in the DNA of the visual identity, it has room to adapt to different applications and orientations across print, digital and physical, along with having room to evolve as the team moves forward and various stakeholder needs and wants moves with it.