Thisaway is behind the Grand National’s first mud-splattered, standalone identity

To welcome crowds back after two years, Thisaway captures the “energy of the event” and the rapid pace of the race.

Date
1 March 2022

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Bath-based branding agency Thisaway has produced the first standalone branding for the Grand National, a race watched by 600 million people around the globe in more than 140 countries, staged by The Jockey Club at its Aintree racecourse in Liverpool. Having previously operated under the Jockey Club’s own visual identity, the Grand National is marking its reopening for crowds with branding that echoes the “endurance”, “energy” and rush of speed that the race entails.

Encapsulating the look of hooves on earth and dirty riding goggles, Thisaway created an “energetic ‘debris’ effect” to work with the typography, says the agency in a release. While the branding hopes to reflect both the “grand” and explosive side of the event, Thisaway was also keen to communicate the “populist, accessible nature of the race”. Veering away from the tendency in the sport to use darker tones, the agency opted for a bright pastel colour palette alongside a “rich racing green”.

“Our biggest challenge when creating a standalone brand for the Grand National was balancing the gravitas and epic nature of the race with its populist appeal,” explains Laura Marchant, head of brand and marketing at The Jockey Club. “Thisaway managed to do just that and more. The brand has got an iconic feel that stills feels warm and welcoming. They have created something that stands out not just in horse racing, but the wider sporting world.”

Thisaway has built the brand to be adaptable, toning down the use of brighter colours and leading with racing green for premium or hospitality-led applications. It also incorporates the fir tree branches at various points across the branding, which are unique to the Grand National fences. With its new standalone marquee brand, the Grand National hopes to drive new customer acquisition and build brand equity for potential sponsor sales.

GalleryThisaway: the Grand National branding (Copyright © Randox Grand National, 2022)

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Thisaway: the Grand National branding (Copyright © Randox Grand National, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

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