A Logo for Mo
In 2011, Mo Farah was World Athletics champion but somewhat unknown to the general public, even in his home country, Britain. A year later he was being cheered on by millions at the London Olympic Games, winning two gold medals. Since that famed double victory in the 5,000 and 10,000 …
In 2011, Mo Farah was World Athletics champion but somewhat unknown to the general public, even in his home country, Britain. A year later he was being cheered on by millions at the London Olympic Games, winning two gold medals. Since that famed double victory in the 5,000 and 10,000 metre races, Farah has become one of Britain’s best known sports stars, appearing on magazine covers, panel shows and as the face of Virgin broadband. He is no longer just Mo Farah ‘the athlete,’ but Mo Farah ‘the brand’—with a logo, website and visual identity.
Farah’s newly designed identity was created by London-based four23. The creative team designed two logos for the runner and are now offering design support to his official charity, the Mo Farah Foundation, which provides aid to East Africa.
The first logo is based on Farah’s signature and is used as a sign-off on products such as his official running spikes and kit. The second features a pair of outstretched wings, with Farah’s initials ‘MO’ in between and a blue star above—a reference to Somalia, where he was born.
The creative director of four23, Darryl Hardman, commented about the uniqueness of this project, stating:
“The project was a direct one with Mo and his family, so no sponsors or agents were involved. The main logo was inspired by Farah’s habit of spreading his wings like a bird when crossing the finish line, which is usually followed by his signature pose, the Mobot. It came from us studying Mo’s running technique, and looking into particular quirks that make him unique out on the track. We noticed his famous celebration across the finishing line and this began the basis for the wing element in the design, the proportions of which were taken from his body shape and size.”
“Typographically, we started to look at the relationship between the M and the O and we soon noticed that balancing the M over the O and extending the centre of the M created the illusion of a medal. After his success at the 2012 Olympics, we felt it appropriate to tweak the design to represent the two gold medals.”
I think this project is a fantastic example of a well thought out, concept-driven logo design—it’s great to see that each detail of the logo has in-depth reasoning for its input.