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Animated Gymnastics Logo Is Based On The Movements Of An Actual Gymnast

British Gymnastics unveils a swooshing abstract logo meant to visualize the sport’s “movement and freedom of expression.”

British Gymnastics has unveiled a dynamic new logo, which visualizes a gymnast’s flips, tumbles, and somersaults as swooshing ribbons that leap across the screen.

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Bear, a creative agency in London, wanted to capture the “movement and freedom of expression” that represent the best instincts of the sport, as managing director Eddy Edwards says. (Imagine if they’d represented its worst instincts: Would it be stunted ribbons under ungodly pressure, with Béla Károlyi barking at the sidelines?)

The designers collaborated with photographer Giles Revell, who used motion-capture technology to snap pictures of an ex-member of British Gymnastics (all we know is it’s a dude; Edwards refused to reveal more). Then 3-D artist Ben Koppel stylized the footage to form the abstract animation you see here. “This involves locating and tracking key points of the body to create movement traces,” Edwards tells Co.Design. “The points are not fixed and can be varied to reach the desired effect.”

[The new visual identity also included a logomark by typographer Rob Clarke. The connecting “t” and “i” are supposed to look like a gymnast’s finishing pose. It took us a while to see it, too.]

We’re seeing animated visual identities all over the place nowadays, from SECCA’s hypnotic drifting wordmark to TBS’s Flubber-like smile. There are a couple reasons for it: As we’ve pointed out several times, today’s brands have to travel across a bunch of different types of media, from TV screens to magazines to smartphone screens, and animation is a good way to stand out on all platforms. A lot of brands also like the metaphorical underpinnings of a moving logo–it suggests a forward-thinking organization, one that isn’t stuck in its ways. For gymnastics, it makes sense in a third, exceedingly obvious way: Movement isn’t just a metaphor, it’s what these people do. On second thought, a static visual identity would seem downright silly. Somebody tell these guys.

[Images courtesy of Bear; h/t Dezeen]

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About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D

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