M Squared is a strength, fitness & CrossFit gym based in South Manchester. A unique fitness facility offering CrossFit classes, Olympic Weightlifting, CrossFit Kids, Endurance and Bootcamp classes. M Squared sees itself as a “fitness family” striving to encourage positive and healthy changes in its members’ lives.
At the very beginning of 2017, The Creative Donut was instructed to devise a branding concept, aid with internet marketing, social media and undertake design & development of a website.
The project for M Squared was was both engaging creatively and interesting personally (as a fitness enthusiast). Em Saville, Head Coach & Owner has worked in the fitness industry for many years and is a familiar face within the Manchester CrossFit community. In late 2016, she decided to follow her dreams and build her own gym. Renting an old industrial unit in South Manchester and refurbishing it into a concept gym.
At the time when The Creative Donut was instructed, the team were finalising the lease and fitout plans. Our part of the project started with recreating the logo in high-resolution format and expanding on the initial concept.
The client was keen that we didn’t simply go down the black & white, grunge style that is popular with many CrossFit related companies. We wanted the brand to represent both the physical gym and the values of the team: to create a supportive community that was accessible to everyone.
We actually ended up producing over 120 different variations on the branding for M Squared. Once we had narrowed the focus to warmth, brick, brass & copper we continued to innovate around the idea of “visualising the gym features through the brand”.
In addition, The Creative Donut helped build the social media presence on Facebook and designed a number of flyers for digital marketing & print. We even produced the designs for the team t-shirts!
Working closely with the client for the design and build of the website was great. Em is a self-confessed technophobe and was happy for us to bounce ideas regarding design and functionality.
We were keen for the site to be modern, slick and feature the interior design of the gym in hi-res. In addition, we wanted to integrate an Instagram Gallery, TeamUp gym calendar and a hotspot picture to explain the equipment to beginners. One of the main drivers was to create a site that was welcoming for newcomers to CrossFit and not intimidating.
(Left) you can see the “wireframe” that we produced during the Design stage of the project. Unlike some previous wireframes, this was highly visual, using photos and crops from similar websites. The reason for this was due to the concept of being able to “see inside” the gym, there are a lot of section on the website where it’s pure photography.
We integrated a colour palette inspired by a moodboard of 4 squares produced by the client for their Instagram early in the project. This simple palette served as both inspiration for the tones of the website and interior designs of the physical space. Copper piping, Oxblood Leather Chesterfields, Neon Signage and Sandblasted Red Brick. All such amazing textures and materials to add to our “see inside” concept.
The photography for the website was provided by Neil Shearer Photography. Neil is a Commercial Sports Photographer for portraiture, advertising, and editorial. His high impact action style paired perfectly with what we envisaged for this project. With a mix of wide angle shots to give depth and close-up detail shots of design features, you can see why M Squared is unique in its design and approach. Neil did a wonderful job and we look forward to working together again soon.
The client was very happy with the website and all the support we provided behind the scenes. Em was particularly pleased with our friendly customer approach and openness to brainstorming ideas helping visualise the results we wanted.
Getting to produce a website for a new-build CrossFit gym has been an interest of ours from the beginning of The Creative Donut. M Squared Fitness has also joined our Simple Support Pack for ongoing website & digital support. We look forward to being your “friendly digital partner” and helping you achieve your business goals.
“So pleased with my awesome website created by Sam and Peanut 😉 It’s clear, bold, easy to navigate and looks very cool….exactly what I wanted. The Creative Donut is so easy to work with and very helpful. Makes things easy even for a technophobe like me. I would highly recommend the Creative Donut for anyone looking to invest in a brilliant website. Thanks Sam 🙂 “
Head Coach & Owner – M Squared