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REVIEWED

New Logo and Identity for Soup Boys Cycling Collective done In-house with Studio Cayman


DESIGN BY THE LADLE


Reviewed April 20, 2018 by Michael Bierut

 
 
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Established in 2013, Soup Enterprises GmbH (trading as the Soup Boys Cycling Collective, or SBC for short) is a leading avant-garde sports media agency. Based in Australia, the Soup Boys Cycling Collective is made up of a team of 21 core collective members, with an expanded network that touches on 30. They specialise in print and digital campaigns, guerrilla marketing, collaborative projects and finishing mid-pack in local C grade bicycle races. This week, Soup Boys Enterprises GmbH have introduced a new logo, identity and updated brand extensions designed in-house in collaboration with seminal design firm, Studio Cayman.

 
 
 

“On the occasion of what you could call our 5th anniversary of the crew, and as our website headed into its 3rd year, we felt the need to revisit the SBC ecosystem and brand identity. In partnership with Studio Cayman, we reworked every single design aspect of the SBC identity system to meet the requirements of the digital age. As such, the new Soup Boys appearance gives individual elements a new, modern quality to their impact, all while maintaining a steadfast “fun-ness” that remains a foundational pillar of the SBC mission. The designers and artisans involved found great importance in holding on to the playful and characterful design of the SBC, adding a certain layer of sophistication to actually give off the vibe that there are several Masters-level graphic designers within the collective.”

 

– Soup Enterprises GmbH Co-Vice President Steve Jobs

 
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The wordmark, designed in late 2014 in about 5 minutes with a custom DOS font (c.1969) in Apple Pages fast became a distinctive icon in the local bunchie, despite the fact it didn’t appear on a single application print or digital until late 2015. Minor, but very important tweaks have been made to reflect current design #trends and ~sensibilities~ which does well in keeping legibility at the forefront for both print and digital use. To better accomodate for the latter realm, a new icon and monogram has been developed to cover all bases a little better.

 
 
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A new (invisible) foundational, underlying grid has been created, aligning each letter and word in a much more mature fashion, while the type has been nipped and tucked in a highly considered fashion to appear sleeker and more representative of the cyclists “ideal form”. Beautifully done by adjusting the counterspaces between each letter, then flattening the word mark by removing the red shadowing and alpine silhouette, this yields a much more pleasant result to the eye.

 
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Just so you know, the Chief Aesthetic Officers of the SBC took Graphic Design for Instagram 101 at RMIT.

 

 – The new Soup Boys Cycling Collective identity within the entire Soup Enterprises GmbH ecosystem.

– The new Soup Boys Cycling Collective identity within the entire Soup Enterprises GmbH ecosystem.

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The colour palette largely stays the same, rather it has simply graduated from its freshman year. The essence of the foundational colours remain, while there has been minor refinements and expansions to better solve the problems of accessibility and aesthetics.

 
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Not a brand for elegance through uniformity, the SBC have taken a highly considered approach to their typographic refinements. Updates to typography include Garamond getting tossed in the bin, replaced with a bolder, more modern and certainly more aesthetic choice in Halyard Display Bold as <h1>. Unable to shake seminal design history and lowest common denominator modernity, DIN Next Condensed remains as <h2> as a nod to German road signage. Finally, the sans serifs that were seen as <h3> and body copy have been replaced by Georgia in various weights.

 
 – Team Business cards featuring collective member portraits.

– Team Business cards featuring collective member portraits.

 
 

For print however, the sans serifs remain – Univers in a single weight and style. Unabashedly bland and Swisse, it offers itself as a truly no-nonsense approach for stationery and ride guides, while it is accompanied by the heavier typefaces Halyard Display Bold and DIN Next in the more creative brand extensions.

 
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 – Campaign briefs &amp; ride guides for CyclingTips, Winter Solstice 2017, Rapha and Ride High Country.

– Campaign briefs & ride guides for CyclingTips, Winter Solstice 2017, Rapha and Ride High Country.

 

*Logs onto GraphicBurger once*

 – Street Signage: Important.

– Street Signage: Important.

 –&nbsp;5L totes: not all cyclists can afford Rapha bike bags.

– 5L totes: not all cyclists can afford Rapha bike bags.

 
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Arguably the biggest, most overstated and delayed change up is that of the website soupboys.cc. To navigate the website is much the same, while aesthetic changes have been made to put more of a focus on the imagery and character of the collective. What was previously a rather whitewashed affair has been given a little colour through the subtle introduction of blue, while occasional full width images and banners do a proper Martha Stewart job at livening the place up. A smartening up of the typographic and palette related aesthetics hasn’t killed character however, as chosen-at-random fonts are still present on story heading images and banners.

 
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New pages, segments and features have been added, and the website still in beautiful 1080p centred type is now streamlined and optimised for mobile devices even if it is by default. Despite this, recommendations put forth focus on viewing through the screen of a desktop or laptop computer to allow the viewer to make the most of the entire SBC experience.

 
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“Fortunately we grew up as part of the MySpace generation, so we sure as shit know how to code. It took us a little time, but after great consideration we bailed on throwing up some glittery word art, and having hidden autoplay songs on every page – instead opting for a super simple and not overly arty design that would leave your parents (our biggest fans) bombarded and confused when they log on.”

 

– Senior Coding Officer Lieutenant Horatio Caine

 
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This seems complimented by a recent resetting of the sniper sights when it comes to social media channels. SoupLive on Twitter is the most recent addition, while profile photos, banner imagery, shitposting becoming more commonplace, profile bio’s and the switch to focus on #business and #growth is evident.

 
 
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Overall, in case it hasn’t been evident so far, there's an enormous amount to love in this redesign and it’s possibly one of the best examples of steady evolution of a leading product in its category that further separates it from the competition and it’s doing so in its own unique voice.