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No Ego Challenge: behind the branding of a new fitness phenomena

A5-double-sided-flyer-NoEgoChallenges-2Mud, sweat and tears is usually a combination I would stay far away from, but over a year ago, I was approached by Lisa at Acorn Marketing to create a new brand for her client, Brian Lee.  The No Ego Challenges; a series of gruelling and tough ‘mud’, ‘Urban’ and ‘beach’ challenge runs that are designed to push you to the max.  The concept of ‘leaving your ego at home’ to compete in the races flies in the face of the belief that these outdoor challenges are only to be undertaken by macho arrogant men, and instead encourages team work and pushing your own capabilities.  Not for the feint hearted, the No Ego Challenge runs test stamina, strength and agility as your adrenaline forces you to the finish line.

As there is another of these muddy challenges coming up, we thought we should highlight this great brand by showing you a little behind the scenes of how it came about.  Each branding exercise is as individual as the client,but I am often asked how you would ‘go about’ creating a logo.  For No Ego, we needed to create something bold, vibrant and easily adaptable to the different races.  Colour was requested as a main differentiator, so we began by creating mood boards that embodied each type, whether that be competitor or texture, to define our colours.



Once explored, a series of initial branding concepts were created – at Jili Allen Creative, we like to provide clients with 6 initial choices for logo ‘direction’ once the initial brief has been decided upon, from this we can determine what style and details you like and which you loathe, which can then inform the complete design.  Below are 2 branding concepts that didn’t make the grade but elements of which you will see in the final logos:


From the initial concepts, the logos then go through a series of finer detailing and developments adhering to the client’s wishes.  For example, with No Ego, a block colour was preferred to create a more simple overall look, with a splash of action to denote the individual challenges.  So post-development, the No Ego logos were completed as follows:


The active elements then inform the greater brand identity. So when we come to flyers and posters, we can adapt these logos to create punchy hard-hitting graphics, and as you can see from the No Ego Challenge website, we have incorporated these elements as highlights and texture across the site.


For consistency, this branding goes even further.  Across the obstacles and the course, the logos are of course featured, but even down to the course map – each element is designed to be part of the full package.


See below for the latest course map for the Greystoke Castle event, near Penrith. This is where it all began, and is returning this year bigger and better. If you’re prepared to undertake one of the toughest mud challenges in the UK with over 25 obstacles, click here to register.  From ‘The Mangle’ and ‘Scafell pike’, to ‘Tunnel of Mud’ and ‘Getting Tyred’ the No Ego Challenge obstacles are among the toughest, muddiest and testing obstacles on the circuit.  Combined with extreme October weather on exposed and harsh terrain this is going to be the challenge of the fittest!  If you are, however, more of an indoor type like myself, the Lake District views from the course are some of the most beautiful in England, so supporting the mad ones is not quite such a chore!


If you’re more of a night owl or want to try something different, for charity or yourself, No Ego Challenge has recently announced another in it’s series of Head torch races.  The first is being held within Whinlatter forest and has a Santa theme.  You can find out more information by clicking here.

How we helped… No Ego Challenge had to embody strength, stamina and accessibility through the branding, looking for bold, decisive and active elements that would make No Ego’s mark on the market.  Design services have included:

  • Brand Identity; including logo design
  • Web Graphic Design
  • Various poster designs
  • Promotional Flyers & Leaflets
  • Challenge Maps
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