Ampro Boxing was a popular London brand established in 1955 which later became one of the most loved boxing brands of it’s era by associating itself with local boxing heroes such as the Kray twins and Henry Cooper and through to arguably the worlds most legendary boxer, Muhammed Ali.
Despite this and due to a variety of factors the brand ran into financial difficulties in the 70′s and went into administration.
The current owners bought the brand a few years ago and launched new products under the original brand name but with a new logo. The new logo whilst being perfectly acceptable ,we always felt (we didn’t design this version), was weak in terms of the product it was selling.It just never seemed to have the strength that it should have in representing a brand with such an important history behind it.
Looking at the plethora of original photography from the brands heyday we wanted to utilise the original typeface in our approach, which we felt was incredibly strong in all of the archival photos. We really wanted to somehow incorporate this into our design.
The current version of the logo just didn’t have this strength of character about it, we needed to pay homage to the brand’s history without appearing gimmicky.
Once we had that approach in mind we decided to scan various original versions from the photographs and hand draw the typeface based upon a selection of the various images, this would then give us a truly original logo that could not be replicated from a font alone. This meant that the logo would be a little imperfect, but once manipulated would truly be a one of a kind, exactly what we felt the brand needed.
One of the driving factors in our final design approach was looking at the situation of gloves in a retail store, the gloves have to compete with a number of other brands and so the prominence and strength of the logo is key in this instance. “London” we felt was an important element to retain in the brand from the original design. The refinement of “Est. 1955″ from “established” further contributed to the authenticity, history, roots and tradition of brands from that era.
With the typeface established our focus turned to the framing device for the brand, once again we didn’t want it to appear busy but it needed to be modern with a vintage twist. The stretched hexagon was a subtle nod to the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) octagon as new Ampro branded MMA products were in the pipeline, as well as this shape also providing a grounding for the text. But the type also had to work as a standalone, outside of the frame for those products where the logo had to retain a cost effective re-production process.
There was a lot riding on this design.
Quite simply we asked the question “would people want to buy and wear it ?” It could be the most articulated design in the world but if it doesn’t sell then quite simply it has failed.
Once we had the designs mocked up we actually realised that we had a very strong brand. It instantly holds it’s ground on the rack of boxing gloves and is far more prominent than the earlier version. On T-shirts and clothing it looks great and has a somewhat modern- retro feel about it.
The new brand has only been in the market place for a very short time (less than a month) but already sales increases have been significant, with quadruple sales over the same time last year.
We will be working very closely in the growth and development of this brand and are really proud to be associated with it, we are also actively working with the manufacturers and company in policing every element of their reproduction of the brand.
Here’s to another 55 years of Ampro !