Rebranding

Crossfit Gambit resides in the heart of Soulard: the French Quarters of St. Louis. It literally sits on the main Mardi Gras parade route, so the ties to the Cajun culture run thick and deep with this brand. Even the name “Gambit” refers to a Cajun superhero in the Marvel X-Men universe… but the jury is still out on whether that’s the influence for this naming convention.

Andrew, the owner of Crossfit Gambit (pictured above), came to me to discuss upgrading the Gambit branding. The name and colors were on-point, but Andrew wanted to explore new design concepts.

The origin story

The term gambit is a chess term for “an opening in which a player makes a sacrifice, typically of a pawn, for the sake of some compensating advantage”.

The “A” in the original Gambit mark represents both the owner’s first initial and in a looser visual representation of a chess piece.

THE FIRST ATTEMPT

The idea behind this approach was to channel the rustic art and typography seen in the Cajun/Creole culture. Very rugged, wood-carving style that has swooping letters and ornamental serifs.

After viewing this new approach, Andrew was able to conclude that he, in fact, didn’t want a new approach but a cleaner upgrade to the previous branding.

The Winner

This approach held to the original spirit of the Gambit logo, just a cleaner, modern markup for the brand. I carried over the accentuated “A” and mixed that into a custom typeface I created for the other letters of “Gambit”. Also, I allowed the swooping crossbar of the “A” flow into the crossbar of the “G”.

The Curse of the Fleur de Lis

In St. Louis, almost every small business wants to incorporate the infamous St. Louis Fleur de Lis in it’s logo. The issue with this is if everyone uses it… all the logos will be a fleur de lis with a different name and your brand has zero chance of standing out from the crowd and being recognized.

Now, if a client is dead-set on using a fleur de lis in their logo, I encourage them to utilize it as a supporting element of their branding, and not the sole piece of their logo. That’s exactly what we did with Gambit. I created a custom fleur de lis to utilize as a secondary piece to the logo.

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