We Launch has created a new identity for the Jamaican bobsleigh and skeleton athletes at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea – aiming to separate the team from its comedic association with the film Cool Runnings.
The rebrand comes 30 years after the team's first, now infamous, appearance at the winter games in 1988, which was immortalised in the 1993 film Cool Runnings.
Working pro bono, London-based design agency We Launch created a new visual identity that differs from that seen in the film – aiming to change public perceptions of the team and position them as one the world's foremost sliding nations.
"The goal of the project was to get away from the association with Cool Runnings," Stuart Lang, founder and creative director of We Launch told Dezeen. "Whilst the movie was a great vehicle for allowing the world to know that there was, in fact, a Jamaican Bobsleigh Team, it was a comedy – and has meant that nobody outside the two sports [bobsleigh and skeleton] has taken the organisation seriously ever since."
"But in fact the athletes are highly professional – elite, world-beating sports people in their own right. They deserve to be considered and regarded in the same bracket as all of Jamaica's other international superstars."
The rebrand was undertaken after Jamaica's national bobsleigh and skeleton teams merged to form one organisation – the Jamaican Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation.
Throughout the redesign, the colours of the Jamaican flag – black, green and yellow – are used prominently.
A sweeping "J" icon – also featuring the flag's cross motif – combines "angles and curves from the track".
We Launch chose to use the typeface Core Sans Bold Italic in order to make the text legible when the athletes are moving at speed.
In the full name of the Jamaican Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation, the name is typeset in upper and lowercase to make it feel "friendly and accessible", while the individual team identities were set in uppercase to create "confidence and impact."
The studio's decision to carry out the rebrand for free was based on the aim of helping to kickstart winter sports in the country.
"Not many NGBs (National Governing Bodies) are particularly well funded," said Lang. "Most are continually fighting for funding and sponsorship – and as such, don't have big budgets to play with."
"With Jamaica, this is even more apparent – especially as most of the focus goes onto their athletics team," continued Lang.
The Jamaican Skeleton teams began competing on 15 February 2018, while the bobsleigh team will be in action from the 18 February.