Brand | Website

Nekobukai Martial Arts Academy

Logo | Website

Nekobukai Martial Arts Academy is a well estabilished reality with more than 40 years of experience in delivering maritial arts course. It hosts Aikido, Karate and Kung-Fu Shaolin shools based on the same value: Martial Art intended as a means for the improvement and evolution of the person.

karate, aikido and shaolin logos

THE PROCESS

Challenge

Providing a complete rebranding capable of giving the idea of a choesive and consistent reality, while maintaining the specificity of each single discipline. This kind of specificity had to be portraied in the logo of each school.

Solution

BRAND

I had to work on four different logos: the academy logo, and each single school logo. I draw inspiration from each discipline tradition, symbolism and history. The tiger is the emblem of both Shaolin Wuseng style and Karate Shotokan style, while the circle is one of the main symbols for the Aikido school. I experimented with different kind of tigers and circles, adding other elements specifically requested by the masters. The black and green conveys power to the Shaolin emblem, while red and white provide strenght to the Karate symbol and vigor to the Aikido one. The academy logo combines the elements of all emblems, with the tiger inserted into a circle surrounded by an Hibiscus flower, symbol of welcoming and acceptance. Black and white are the colours of the Tao, representing the two opposite forces yin and yang.

WEBSITE

According to the results of the benchmark across the competitors in the area, the primary focus was to build a user journey leading to the course page of each school. However, following the feedback of the current students of the academy, before proceeding to the enrollment, they would have appreciated to learn detailed information about the school, philosophy, training methods, etc. For this reason, the user journey follows a specific pattern, moving from the discipline page, through the school page to finally land into the course page. I worked to keep the sitemap small and simple, implementing only two sublayers on purpose to ensure the website could be easily navigated, to provide a smooth user experience, leading the user through detailed information straight to the course page. Making everything handy, iplementing a flat and minimalistic responsive and user-centered design, was the winning choice to make a well estabilished reality outstanding against the competitors. I sketched out the information flows and some initial concepts, discussing them with the masters to ensure that we were on the same tune.

My Role

I played the role of UX, UI and Graphic designer. As UX designer  I took some time to put in place a quite extensive research of the competitors to understand the market, identifying any kind of brand, content and web standard within the sector. Research results allowed me to identify the most common user journeys. I spent a lot of time talking with the masters of the three schools, trying to understand differencies and communality between the three different kind of users.  I asked each master to submit a very brief survey to their current students in order to build personas.

The Final Product

The final product is a very eye catching website, characterised by contemporary and retrò design elements, that makes the balance between content and blank spaces one of the most distincive elements of this kind of design.