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Martial Arts & MMA Logo Design Explained
Martial arts teach resilience, honor, respect, discipline, and self-control. A good martial arts logo design should reflect the serious mentality required and immediately communicate the athletic ability and cultural background of the style it represents. Here then are a few key considerations for logo designers.
A logo is the first impression your company or event will make on prospective customers. You need something that reaches out to the demographic interested in your services and that is understood right away. You would not want martial arts teachers to pass by your martial arts competition, for example, because they mistakenly think it was for a different sport.
Likewise, if you are a martial arts master, you would not want students to pass by your school when looking for a master of the exact style you teach. The purpose of a logo is to connect to your audience and communicate the services and professionalism you offer.
Common Aspects of Martial Arts Logos
Whether it is for a martial arts school offering lessons or a martial arts competition, the logo design should add gravity and thoroughly communicate your purpose. Most logos of this type use a sharp contrast of black and white, sometimes adding an additional color, like bright red. This stark color scheme impacts the viewer with an immediate understanding of action and culture.
The characters used in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean languages instantly communicate an Asian background. While some martial arts utilize this authentic cultural reference in their logos, others choose in-depth symbolism through animal representation or immediate recognition through illustrations of fighters using common striking or grappling techniques. A Kung Fu logo, for example, often expresses the inner spiritual dimension and concentration with a yin yang symbol in the design.
A good logo looks impressive when enlarged for a sign or banner, yet still shows clearly at a very small size for business cards and brochures. Martial arts logo images typically display limited colors and utilize simple lines for easy translation in screen printing on uniforms and equipment.
Here are some examples of martial arts logos, broken down by some of the various major disciplines:
Made popular in American youth culture through mainstream movies like the Karate Kid, the Karate style uses a high-powered striking technique that focuses on hand and elbow strikes. Often, Karate logos incorporate the Japanese flag colors of red and white, sometimes including the disk of the Japanese flag’s red sun. Karate logos also tend to utilize Japanese symbols or images depicting hand strikes and karate masters in action. Shotokan Karate style logos utilize the symbolic image of the sectioned tiger without a bodily outline.
Jiu Jitsu Logos
Another popular Japanese martial arts form, Jiu Jitsu, uses logos that incorporate the red, white, and black colors found in other karate logos. Jiu Jitsu (also known as Jujutsu or Jiu-Jitsu) focuses on a style that uses the enemy’s energy against him. Focused on neutralizing the enemy, the Jiu Jitsu technique uses holds, joint locks, and throws that are sometimes reflected in the Jiu Jitsu logos.
The commonly practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (or Gracie Jiu Jitsu) is more focused on ground grappling and a modified Jiu Jitsu approach to combat. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on leverage and many of the logos depict the striking and grappling that happens in ground fighting positions. Because of the origin, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu logos usually incorporate the bright green, yellow, and blue of Brazil’s flag. A triangle is regularly incorporated in the Gracie Jiu Jitsu style logo, representing the three components of Gracie Jiu Jitsu mastery – mind, body, and spirit.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Logos
Made popular through media exposure and MMA style fighting shows, Mixed Martial Arts utilizes techniques from a variety of styles. A Mixed Martial Arts logo uses a simple text and illustration, more focused on impact than cultural reference. Current Mixed Martial Arts logos reflect a Western design influence, with flat color use, bold sans-serif fonts, and no Asian symbols. The current EA Sports MMA logo uses tribal tattoo markings to communicate the brute combat and tough matches of the fighting game.
The art of Korean self-defense is one of the most widely practiced martial art forms in the world and dates back further than 2,000 years. Utilizing kicks, punches, and blocks, Taekwondo (or Tae Kwon Do) is one of the few martial art forms included in the Olympic Games. Taekwondo logos frequently depict the style’s emphasis on kicking techniques.
The World Taekwondo Federation, for example, includes the silhouette of a fighter kicking in place of the “T” in the “WTF” letters of its logo. Many other logos use a Taekwondo fighter kicking or sparring. Often, the logos incorporate the red, blue, white, and black colors of the Korean flag. The flag’s blue and red yin yang symbol is also shown in many Taekwondo logos.
Consult the Professionals
A great logo design will completely incorporate the business it represents. Because of this, you cannot be left out of the process. When The Logo Company works on a martial arts logo, we ask you questions to discover what really makes your company unique. You do not want to look like your competitors, but you also do not want to advertise the wrong product to your potential customers. Our designers take your ideas, preferences, and industry expertise to create a logo that sets you apart, in a good way.
Our focus is on your business needs. From the initial sketch to the final product, you are with us every step of the way to ensure your visions are actualized. We begin with an authentic, hand-crafted logo that is later digitalized for easy printing and reproduction. At least 5 designers will work on your account and provide sketches for your martial arts logo design.
You can rest easy knowing that your company is in good hands. Our process is completely out in the open – check out our case studies for specific company experiences in working with our artists to get their company’s new logo design.
We can produce the finalized logo in formats needed for printing, publishing, or producing it for your marketing supplies, equipment, and products.