If you frequent our Facebook page, you may have noticed a vigorous debate taking place recently. Passionate Honda LA Marathon participants are going back and forth discussing the merits of our 2011 Finisher’s Medal, which we revealed when we hit 4,000 Likes on the page. Some folks love the medal, some hate it, and others are somewhere in between. I’m not overly concerned that everyone isn’t in love with the medal. After all, it’s virtually impossible to make everyone happy. And that’s especially true with a group that is as smart and opinionated as marathoners. What is important is that there is a conversation going on. That shows people care. They care enough to voice their opinion—one way or the other—about the elements we’re designing for this year’s race. The minute your customers stop caring is the minute you’re in trouble as a business. So I say, “Bring on the comments!”
For those of you that are interested, allow me to explain how we arrived at this design. One of our goals this year was to create a little more consistency in the design of our assets. We wanted a common visual thread that would connect things like the poster, the medal, signage, and the participant shirt. I felt that a hand-illustrated vibe would put a human touch on these visual elements and make them feel more approachable. So I started with a terrific English illustrator, Adam Hayes. He developed the terrific type pattern that incorporates the names of the cities and landmarks that the Honda LA Marathon runs through and past. Working with Eric and Fiona at Collective LA, we formed Adam’s type treatment into a pair of running legs. This gave the art the connection to running that it needed. After that, it was about figuring out different versions of the art that would work for different assets, like the medal. At this year’s race, keep your eyes peeled for different usages of this art all over Los Angeles on race weekend.