Responses by Eddie Fowler, designer, GBH.London
Background: The purpose of this project is to completely redefine sailing. For SailGP, we set out to create a name and brand that moved away from sailing’s traditional roots and to change preconceptions of what the sport can be, attracting audiences well beyond traditional sailing fans.
Reasoning: The logo and visual language references a shift—both figuratively in terms of the sport’s public perception and literally: the craft flies, balanced above the water on wave-piercing hydrofoils at speeds of over 60mph, pushing the limits of what’s possible on water. It’s a visual representation of our desire to out-perform and create an accessible and exciting sporting championship using the best technology available.
Challenges: Sailing is typically associated with the select few, so our biggest challenge was to find a way to evolve this into an accessible, easy-to-follow sport for many. The championship tours the world’s most exciting cities and offers close, fast-paced and exciting nation versus nation racing. We needed to portray the superhuman nature of the crew and the supercharged nature of the F50 racing boats.
Favorite details: We were really keen to avoid any nautical clichés! We wanted to create something entirely original to reflect the new format. So, one of the proudest achievements for the team has to be the typographic identity we developed. It’s simple but breathes life into all other elements of the brand in an exhilarating, modern way. The way this all comes together to create the immersive onscreen experience is the real highlight for GBH.
Visual influences: We use a collection of “dazzle patterns” and other graphic elements that develop the shift notion seen in the logo. These add dynamism throughout the identity by referencing wakes and fast direction shifts created by the F50 boats and create recognition without plastering the logo everywhere.
Specific demands: We’ve had the privilege of being included at every stage: from strategy, naming, identity, website, television graphics, race village and beyond. This was only possible through our close collaboration with SailGP’s wonderful team. The team’s agility, straightforward intelligence and vision have enabled us to become fully immersed in the journey of the brand.