The Mind Behind The Crown
If you’re a runner, you’ve come to the right city.
When fall rolls around, you never want for a weekend road race. The hard part is picking which ones to run. On the organizer side, it’s equally hard developing a run event that offers something new.
Well, Brian and Chelsea Mister figured that out.
On Sept. 1, the inaugural Around the Crown 10K (ATC10K) will shut down Charlotte’s inner beltway, I-277, allowing runners to travel a path and see sights never available to them before. An event with a plan this audacious needs a bold, memorable logo to go with it and a passionate, creative mind behind it.
Luckily, Chelsea — in addition to being one of the race founders, is also a gifted graphic designer. She tells us the creation story of the ATC10K logo below.
Q: Crafting a visual identity for an idea as audacious as Around The Crown is no small feat, what were your initial thoughts when you decided to create the ATC110K logo?
Around the Crown 10K was a concept that Brian and I talked about for the past couple of years. Spanning that time, the logo went through multiple drafts and iterations. The design spanned ideas from incorporating highway elements to more running focused ideas. All seemed to fall short and didn’t seem to convey Charlotte.
We knew we wanted to stand out from other races not only by the course itself but through a brand that people would want to stand behind as a landmark race for the city. People take pride in living in the Queen City and we wanted the logo to convey that feeling.
If we could catch people’s eye with something identifiable, we would be able to tell them our story and our passion – making Charlotte more active. The logo needed to complement the typography, yet live on its own and shine on digital and print material. The font needed to be bold, not fast — just like the event. Our purpose is not competition. It’s connectedness and community.
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Q: Crowns have been done a million times here. Skylines have been done a million times here. Yet, you crafted something that is familiar and fresh. How did you do that? And, how have people reacted to it?
Given the race has “crown” in the name, the obvious first thought is to use a crown in the design. I was very reluctant to use this icon and didn’t entertain the idea until very late in the design process.
The concern certainly was that both the crown and skyline are so heavily used that I didn’t want our brand to just be another of the same. After all other concepts weren’t quite right, we came back to what people love about Charlotte – the skyline and the crown.
Combining the skyline into the crown seemed too obvious and like a slap in the face that it hadn’t been done yet. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and brings only joy that people have accepted the logo with open hands.
Q: How did you feel the first time you saw the logo on an item of race promotion or gear?
I’ve created other logos, designed websites and worked on other companies brand materials but seeing the ATC10K brand come to life brought endless excitement. Creating a company with my husband and designing all aspects of the brand has truly been a passion project. When we received our first order of shirts it became so much more real. I’ll never get over seeing people we don’t personally know wearing our and supporting the race.
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Q: What are some other Charlotte brands, marks and logos you’ve done?
A few local projects I’ve worked on include Recover Brands website, Noda Brewing Run Club logo, Singleton Heating & Air and Old North Riders. I currently work for Red Ventures as a digital designer with a focus on the healthcare industry. The easiest place to see my work is www.chelseamister.com.
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