In Our Opinion

Can your logo be fierce and friendly?

By February 21, 2020 January 10th, 2021 No Comments

As a cyclist, bike shop owner and marketer, I often find myself in conversations with peers, as well as those in the industry about how to grow cycling. In mountain biking, in particular, we often identify goals such as:

  • Increasing participation of girls
  • Encouraging more women to coach & lead rides
  • Introducing more families to mountain biking
  • Teaching everyone to be more respectful of each other and the trails
Why so many skeletons?

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But then something disconnects when we roll out logos for teams and events which use skulls, flames, war symbols, and other “ride or die” elements that could be easily utilized by your local chapter of Hell’s Angels.

To many, these elements are an easy way to illustrate the “fierce, fast & free” nature of mountain biking.

Unfortunately, they are also shorthand for how unfriendly mountain biking can be.

Rather than focusing on what not to do – we decided to take a look around to find logos that show riders and prospects that mountain biking can be fierce, fast, free – and friendly.

Here are some of our favorites:

Asking for a more “female-friendly” logo is often misinterpreted as a request for something “girly.” But a logo that appeals to women doesn’t have to be all hearts and flowers. Take these two from Yeti Beti and Spin Sisters – fiercely feminine without a hint of pink or purple to be found.

Not that there is anything wrong with hearts, flowers or purple! The logos for Little Bellas and CCAP’s Petal Partners appeal to their audience by perfectly capturing their mission to get more girls on bikes.

Think that if your mascot isn’t a predatory bird or similar, it can’t be fierce and friendly? Hopefully, these logos from Black Sheep Mountain Bike Club, Dirty Squirrels, and Sugar Beets Cycling will have you thinking twice.

Still think cute can’t be competitive? I direct your attention to the Sea Otter Classic – “considered the world’s largest cycling festival, drawing nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 70,000 fans” – their mascot is… adorable.

When it comes to designing logos that welcome riders and prospects, we need to make the effort to step away from tired tropes and cliches and find a new way to connect through graphic design.

What are some of the logos you consider to be both fierce AND friendly?