The Brass Ring.
Design Type: Branding.
As I was rounding out my last year of college, I wanted to build a project around a problem within a very niche and passionate audience that I’m a part of, the pro wrestling fan base. I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember and have dipped my toe in the ring as well. One of the problems that I've seen occur on more than one occasion is the acceptance of pro wrestling fans across the board. Through being made fun of for what you like, you end up just remaining quiet about it. This has happened over and over again causing many fans to become closet fans because they are afraid of the ridicule that may come from it. In this project, I wanted to tackle the problem by creating a brand that embraces pro wrestling and gives the fans a place to be themselves. This place's main objective is to combat the stigma often associated with pro wrestling and its fanbase, thus leading to a customer base feeling heard and appreciated. By targeting these fans, the hope is to start a trickle effect. Fans will be more willing to be themselves now that they have a supportive environment with other like-minded people.
There has been an overshadowing stigma of pro wrestling fans.
Pro wrestling fans don’t have a place to go to be in an atmosphere filled with passionate and like-minded people.
There are many closet wrestling fans.
Change the stigma around pro wrestling fans.
Give a place for our audience to kick back and enjoy themselves, be themselves, relax, and convene with like-minded people while pairing that with an outstanding menu and tap section.
Most of all, support them.
I began to sketch logos based on my research to ensure I was remaining on target and creating a wordmark my audience could resonate with.
From here, I gave a brief description of what I was trying to accomplish. Then, I passed around a few refined sketches to get opinions. I was looking for what worked and what didn't. I ended up getting some great feedback.
Moving from the Refine & Testing phase, I was left in a very clear direction.
Menu and Takeout Material
Merchandise & Apparel
When creating The Brass Ring, my audience was top of mind. I wanted them to feel appreciated and heard. Through testing with my audience, they wanted to be a part of a collective of individuals derived from a passion for the sport, forming a vibrant atmosphere that is rich in the culture and history of pro wrestling. After review, I was able to design a solid brand identity my audience could resonate with and give them an idea of the overall atmosphere they could enjoy.
This project was very challenging for me because of how close I am to the sport. The first thing I had to learn is how to leave my bias at the door and make sure that I wasn’t designing for myself but rather designing for the target base. The second thing I learned was when you are working on a passion project or a project that you are very close with, put your heart and soul into it and make it kick butt but make sure to have fun along the way! Lastly, don’t try to force a direction just because the mark looks good. It’s okay to change directions in the third hour as long as the crosshairs align with the objective at hand, and your audience can better resonate with the brand to build an emotional attachment.
This has become one of my favorites for the simple fact that I could merge two of my passions into one.