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Recharging Hercules: Change for the timesStrategy + Identity + Retail + Product Graphics + Packaging

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TI Cycles, which is part of the Murugappa Group, hired us to recreate branding for Hercules, a foremost product in the MTB segment targeting teens and young adult males. The new identity takes a bolder and more aggressive stance, drawing from the character of the Greek hero Hercules who wielded power and passion. Aimed for youth from 8 years to 25, the bike had to portray a sporty, heroic and adventurous image. Our associations ranged from Animax and Wolverine to Akshay Kumar. An image of valor, power, endurance and free spirit with a will to push for limits evolved.

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Hercule Cycle and Motor Company was originally set up in 1910 England. Tubes Investments inherited the Hercules brand in 1946 when owner Edward Crane sold it to them. One of two leading cycle brands of TI, Hercules has a strong presence in the Mountain Bike segment. The existing symbol of H did not have any characteristic of the Greek mythical hero Hercules. The client TI Cycles wanted to reinvigorate the brand so that it would appeal to youth by the design of a distinctive character. 

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A powerful symbol making Hercules relevant for today evolved with our branding program. The most spirited and famous of the Herculean tasks is the hero’s encounter with the lion. The lion’s head with a mane conjures up brawn and aggression. The warrior’s shield is a symbol of protection and valour. We chose to merge the lion’s head and the shield with the concept of “Stealth Warrior”, reinforcing the idea that this was a bike that was adventurous yet reliable. This serendipitous combination in the symbol and typeface conveys strength and agility. 

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The crest of a bike often goes unnoticed but we wanted to use this to advantage to showcase this image. Keeping with the idea of reviving Hercules in modern light, we endeavored to design an identity that is classic yet contemporary. The emblem would be displayed on several parts of the bike, while the logotype with the name would go standard on bike parts.

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 The symbol can be applied to a variety of collaterals. While we were initially approached to create product graphics, their success in the market led to a larger engagement, involving identity design, retail environment design, and sub-brand identities.

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THE TEAM
Hercules