February 10, 2021

POSTED BY

Rafael Esquer

CATEGORY

The Making of an Athlete’s Brand: Guido Rodriguez

new york branding sports graphic design studio

Today, let us take you behind the scenes of the making of our new project, the personal branding for athlete Guido Rodriguez. Guido is one of the most exciting, on-the-rise soccer players, in Europe. The Argentine defensive midfielder joined the Real Betis in January of 2020, and now, after settling …

new york branding sports graphic design studio

Today, let us take you behind the scenes of the making of our new project, the personal branding for athlete Guido Rodriguez. Guido is one of the most exciting, on-the-rise soccer players, in Europe. The Argentine defensive midfielder joined the Real Betis in January of 2020, and now, after settling into European football, is beginning to show the form that made him indispensable to Club América in Mexico.

“How do you design a personal brand for an athlete?” is one of the questions I’m often asked. First, it’s indispensable to immerse in research, to get to know the athlete. We studied his background, his achievements, and what makes him unique on and off the field. We also look into the competition in the sports category and adjacent categories like lifestyle. Alfalfa Studio meets directly with the athlete for a discovery session via interviews, in person and email. The goal is to identify the athlete’s values, aspirations, motivations, and attributes that we need to communicate with the new brand.

After we had been fully immersed in research, then, one of the most important parts of the design process begins, the exploration phase. We have brainstorming sessions as a group first, then each designer goes into their own exploration. First, we sketched ideas in pencil and paper. Then, we review and select the ones with potential to digitize into the computer. Today’s post shows a selection of the ideas we explored when creating the Guido Rodriguez brand. Exploration and design refinements are critical steps to arrive at a solution that is fresh and unique.

new york branding sports graphic design studio
Designers José Fresan and Rafael Esquer reviewing sketches at Alfalfa Studio
new york branding sports graphic design studio
Sketches in paper from the exploration phase

A winning brand has to tell a story. Each visual component that forms a brand and/or logo is an opportunity to deliver a message through the use of its symbols. These symbols add layers of meaning to a creative work and enable the designer to deliver an idea within a narrative, a message on multiple levels. With that in mind, we designed the brand for the Argentine soccer star.

Kandinsky said, “Color provokes a psychic vibration. Color hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body.” We all know that color plays an essential part in a brand. If it is managed right, consistent, and with smart strategy, color can become its more important asset. For the Guido Rodriguez brand we recommended a color palette that captures the attributes that are important for Guido: Respect, family, positive attitude, honesty, winning, discipline, and hard work.

new york branding sports graphic design studio
Color palette from brand guidelines
new york branding sports graphic design studio
Selecting the Pantone colors

The logo for Guido Rodríguez is made up of three simple shapes working on the negative and positive space: The Cross of Calatrava, a monogram, and a shield shape. In the center, the negative space forms an abstraction of the Cross of Calatrava which is found in the flag of Buenos Aires, the region where Guido is from. It represents the respect for his place of origin. The overall shape forms an octagonal shield that alludes to his position in the field as a defensive midfielder. It all emanates from the custom designed monogram created with the athlete’s initials G and R.

new york branding sports graphic design studio

Then, we put the graphic identity to the test by placing it in various contexts and environments. How does it look in social media, animated, in black and white, as a label, in merchandise, etc? How does it fare against the competition, does it stand out? If the brand fulfills all of these requirements, then we develop a brand guidelines document to make sure the logo is presented properly in any environment. Consistency is what turns a logo into a winning, recognizable brand.

new york branding sports graphic design studio
Brand applications for social media channels

The branding of Guido Rodriguez is the result of our exclusive partnership with sports talent agency, The Marketing Jersey and working directly with Guido and his team.

new york branding sports graphic design studio
Acceptable brand combinations from the brand guidelines