Ever been driving through the plentiful and beautiful roads of the Afan Valley, Rhigos or Bwlch-y-Groes, and seen a solitary cyclist, clearly in pain, powering their bike up the hill with every last shred of energy they have?
Chances are that they’re set to become a member of RÁS; the brainchild of two athletes whose dedication to both the punishment and euphoric reward of a triathlon is greater than we’ve ever witnessed before.
Dan and Jon had a pin-sharp vision for a triathlon training centre like no other. The RÁS facility is designed to instil in its members a drive and dedication to the sport to build a mind-set that encouraged the acceptance of blood, sweat, tears, pain, frustration and suffering in order to become a better athlete. RÁS was to become a statement of intent; a possibility to achieve; a movement. This was much more than just a lifestyle brand....The project started with naming the start-up. RÁS was originally called Growth Box, based on being a place to grow and develop as an athlete, but ultimately it was felt that this was too restrictive and may give the false assumption that it sold growth aids and supplements. RÁS (pronounced ‘RASS’) was chosen for it’s short yet impactful set of letters but also its meaning, which is ‘Race’ in Old Norse.
The name, including its circumflex, gives a subtle nod to Scandinavia and the Viking Norsemen and Women of the 8th and 11th Centuries and in turn, gives a sense of warrior mentality; a person or group of people capable of unparalleled strength against adversity.
With such a clear vision for the future, the brand strategy evolved organically and took into account the company’s aims to push Rás out into the real world and build a dedicated facility in which to meet, train, strive and improve. The key was to engage like-minded individuals through an empowering and inspiring tone of voice;
“To be different and to re-define is at the heart of what we do. Our aim is to question perceptions, empower the brave and celebrate what we are capable of achieving. At RÁS we unite like-minded souls in search of madness.”
Photography direction proved a vital part of the brand and echoed the monochrome colour palette. If it’s dark, gritty, and shows the human body pushing itself through its paces (blood, sweat, tears and all) then it’s RÁS. The suffering becomes the main visual, but the euphoria of success is the ultimate goal. Photographer: Alex Sedgmond.
The logo-mark echoed the name in it’s simplicity and was created with a pack mentality in mind (‘the RÁS pack’); an emblem that could be easily transferred to team kit or merchandise, and act as a calling card or identifier to other athletes – a secret handshake almost. The ambition of this company was second to none, and so the logo was created to suit being the larger part of an umbrella style brand, with easily engineered offshoots such as RÁS Energy, RÁS Knowledge and RÁS Pop-up.
The cut on the top right corner of the triangle (representing tri, 3, the three pillars of triathlon) represents the final 10%; the hardest part of any project and ultimately that bit extra that the RÁS mind-set and training can give an individual to ensure they’re at the top of their game; unbeatable.
"designdough…epic people oozing creativity! designdough helped to bring the RÁS brand to life with a strong and purposeful identity. Understanding the power of branding I searched high and low for a company that would give me the time and energy that I was putting into the business, and designdough gave me that and more. They have slick processes, are easy to get hold of and are damn right passionate people. I look at the guys in the team as friends and that is testament to the great job they do." - Dan Farmer, RÁS Founder
Merchandise & Apparel Design