Karate Canada made the decision to update its brand and web presence, thanks to a grant from the Canadian Olympic Committee. The old brand did not speak to our membership and there was a desire to try something new with the admission of Karate to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Our website architecture made it difficult to both update and navigate, and it didn’t work on responsive screens. After considering a number of agencies, we settled on Epic Design. Epic Design worked collaboratively with us to develop a brand that is modern, active and universally accepted by the membership. The website project was managed smoothly, despite being a complicated project. Epic proposed it to be developed at the same time as the Wrestling Canada site, which allowed us to move forward in a fiscally responsible manner. Since launch, we have had many compliments on both the brand and the website, and the Provincial Karate Organizations appreciated receiving their own optional sets of sub-brand logos. The experience working with Epic Design, and the resulting product, has left Karate Canada and its members very satisfied and we are proud to sport this new brand.
Karate Canada Brand & Website
We worked with Wrestling Canada and Karate Canada to launch both websites consecutively in order to reduce costs for both organizations. The Karate Canada brand was in need of a refresh in order to better unify the Karate organizations across Canada, and to have a meaning behind the visuals.
Karate Canada was in need of both a brand refresh and a new website which was not only responsive, but was easy to navigate– and they had a limited budget, and very limited staff resources due to a heavy workload on their end. The old website was on a platform that the client was not able to update themselves, so they had to hire someone every time they wanted to post or make an update. The brand didn’t have any type of meaning to the organization so they wanted to dig to uncover that as well.
We knew that Wrestling Canada wanted to make some pretty major updates to their existing site, so much so that it was almost worth just developing a brand new site. By developing these two site in tandem, then splitting them apart to customize for each, we were able to save both time and money for each organization. This took strong project management in order to keep track of all requests form both organizations, as well as staying on budget and on time.
Both organizations were happy with the end result. Karate was able to replace their old website with a beautiful, functional new one within their budget, and their brand was well received within the karate community. The intent was to develop a brand and look & feel that was clear, had a connection to who they are, and united the karate community across the nation. Each provincial Karate association was supplied with their own icon that connects them to Karate Canada. It is to be used not to replace their provincial logo, but to compliment it. The 2020 Olympics will be the first olympics that Karate will be competing in, so this will be a way of rallying together.
We are UNITED. We speak with one voice across the nation. We are one with ourselves, one with our community. We unite karate in Canada by respecting our teammates and opponents and their diversity.
We stand PROUD to represent the leaf at home and abroad. We see karate as more than just a sport or art; it is a practice that builds better athletes, better officials, better coaches and better citizens. We take pride in our development and achievements.
We are PROGRESSIVE. We seek constant improvement of ourselves, our organization and our nation. We are dynamic and agile, allowing us to push the boundaries to build up our athletes, practitioners and nation.
We strive for EXCELLENCE. Just as the circle has no beginning and no end, we are determined to continue to learn, study and practice our art to excel in our sport, our art, our karate.
The highlighted words in the brand story form our brand pillars: UNITED, PROUD, PROGRESSIVE, EXCELLENCE.
Logo and Look Rationale
The maple leaf is the dominant feature, representing Canada. It is shaped into a figure in a mid-kick/punch motion. The straight, sharp angles combined with the swoosh represent the contrast between calm and the force of this sport.
The icon and text is flexible enough to successfully work in many variations, dependant on needs. We have developed further versions (horizontal, icon and favicon) for other uses, as described in the brand identity standards.
WE ARE ONE • NOUS NE FAISONS QU’UN
One of the biggest takeaways from the research into developing this brand is that the provincial members across the country would like to have a better feeling of unity across the country. As part of the solution we have developed a tagline and a unifying mark for each province to use as they see fit. This will be a great way to come together for our very first olympic appearance in 2020!
To see further examples of brand application, logo usage, as well as colour palette and typography, please refer to the brand standards document.