Case Study: Calibrate Pilates
Sometimes, when we work, we get comfortable in our processes, and then you get hit with that new challenge where you realize, the way you did things just doesn’t seem to fit anymore. For us, working on this particular project helped us us reach beyond our comfort zones and build upon the existing way we create. It opened our eyes to using a more holistic approach to building brands, and eventually we came up with one of our more comprehensive and creative brands we’ve ever created.
Kobi Jack was referred to us via someone who knew about us on social media (not just for cat pictures! Can also be used for networking!) and she brought this great idea to us. Kobi was looking for someone to brand her new business venture, Calibrate Pilates, an online clinical pilates instructor training program.
A physiotherapist herself, Kobi understands the need for rehabilitation in our bodies and understands how Pilates is great for repairing what ails us especially from a clinical standpoint. She wanted a brand that reflected the teaching aspect of her clinical pilates training program, with a greater emphasis on a more scientific approach.
Our previous work in the health and wellness industry centred around more feminine, natural elements whereas Kobi brought us in a new direction; we were working with concepts and imagery like the human spine, precision and tensegrity. We knew Calibrate Pilates would need to be sleek and modern in order to connect with her audience through its professional and contemporary branding.
Kobi’s comprehensive questionnaire gave us a better feel for her company and the type of clients she wanted to work with, as well as her goals and values of her company. Her answers gave us a clear jumping off point to start crafting a potential brand direction for Calibrate Pilates. We created 3 similar mood boards that we thought would suit her brand and client profile. Each mood board, while similar, offered some slight tonal variations, ranging from light to moody. We realized a long time ago that trying to show our clients dramatically different mood boards confuses everyone including us. Plus we are the designers; we should know what suits your brand best.
Ultimately, we pulled elements that suited the brand and created this mood board to represent Calibrate Pilates. It was clear how striking the brand needed to be. We were quite nervous that, after deciding on a design direction, we weren’t going to nail the strong vision Kobi was hoping for.
After refining our mood board, it was time to move onto actually coming up with some real concepts. This was where Lucy and I found ourselves in a real rut. Together, we were on the same wavelength, definitely, but each concept we came up with felt only passable; we kept missing that AHA! moment we often get when we’re close to nailing a logo design. We trudged on, trying different styles, from cold and clinical, to the weird and abstract, and we found ourselves getting more confused and lost. Interestingly, we abandoned the concept of tensegrity because it felt too complex to be conveyed in a logo. But we also started to stray away from what Calibrate Pilates represented.
Soon, panic set in as we still didn’t have something to show our client. What else could we do but take a deep breath and a step back and hope that would recharge our creativity. That’s when we realized we were overthinking all of it. We were going in circles, making logo after logo, with no real results, and that’s when we decided we should change how we approached this project. We were trying so hard to make magic out of flimsy concepts that it was no wonder nothing we had done felt suitable. Kobi had given us this strong and interesting foundation to work on so we brought all the original concepts back and, instead of just trying to make a logo, we began crafting a brand; we focused on the entire brand strategy of Calibrate Pilates to influence our design choice.
We knew this brand had to be bold, with punchy geometric shapes, and a distinct mix of contemporary and clinical. Using a more neutral to masculine colour palette and modern fonts, we really started to see everything come together.
The final logo we created for Calibrate Pilates is one of our strongest yet. Because we implemented the brand strategy in the logo design, we got our Aha! moment. We created something that was diverse, yet approachable, and relays a strong, quiet command; fitting the brand that Kobi first described to us. We needed to add the full tagline for Calibrate to the logo in order to anticipate its many uses, especially when being utilized in an online training forum. we offered a few variations to the client, to ensure she had the appropriate logo for each potential use.
During our logo development, while experimenting with geometric shapes, we created icons similar to the main logo. We realized these icons elevated the brand and fit within the brand strategy, so rather than discard these images we found appealing, they were incorporated as design graphics. Calibrate Pilates includes three geometric graphics that Kobi can use to strengthen her brand.
This was one of the early brands we worked on that really set a precedent for how we would work on future brands. By approaching the design as a whole, and developing and implementing a proper brand strategy, the final brand for Calibrate Pilates encapsulates a feeling of trustworthiness and knowledge, of the contemporary and the sleek. We wanted to ensure longevity in its design and that it would resonate with potential future students of Kobi.
Project hand off! Presenting this brand to the client was very nerve-wracking but very rewarding! We loved the final results and we hoped she would too. Thankfully, it was a success and Calibrate Pilates is well on its way to educating others in pilates and its benefits! Check out Kobi's website, which she made herself at our LAUNCH Web Workshop!