Disciplines: Brand concept Brand strategy Graphic design Identity design Motion design Art direction
Client: Marten van Riel
Disciplines: Brand concept Brand strategy Graphic design Identity design Motion design Art direction
Client: Marten van Riel
Disciplines: Brand concept Brand strategy Graphic design Identity design Motion design Art direction
Client: Marten van Riel

Marten Van Riel is one of Belgium’s most promising triathletes, an official Red Bull athlete and currently ranked 5th in the world.

To back his steep climb to the top, we created a personal brand that doesn’t just express who Marten is as a triathlete, but shows the upbeat 90’s kid behind the athlete as well.

Welcome to the Riel world

Sleep, eat, train, repeat. That’s basically what the life of a pro triathlete looks like. Even more so than talent, you need an iron will and a huge amount of discipline to get to the top. As one of the toughest sports out there, physically as well as mentally, triathlon is a non-stop battle against yourself, the competition and the elements.

Enter Marten Van Riel, a full blown 90’s kid and one big chunk of positive energy. Always up for a joke. Always relaxed. Bouncing around in this ultra-disciplined and performance driven world. In that unexpected combination of Marten’s abundant personality and the sport’s spartan nature, we found our inspiration for his brand. It’s brought to life in ‘the RIEL world’, a visual universe taking cues from VCR’s and 90’s video games. As in: always on, high energy levels and never a dull moment.

Breaking into reality

The complete visual identity is symbolic for Marten’s personality as it visually breaks into the real world in an unapologetic and up-beat way as well. We designed it in such a way he can single-handedly bring it to life in his own communication. Marten’s social media channels are the most obvious example of this. We created a set of stickers, filters, icons and merchandise for him, his management and fan base to apply in an effortless and native way. Adding a branded GIF sticker to an Instagram story of a swim training, meal prep or race is enough to conjure ‘the RIEL world’ vibe.

In a race, Van Riel doesn’t hold back. If there’s a chance to spice things up, he’ll take it. That impulsive side of him is the basis for the logo. Inspired by a fast-forward icon, we designed a triple triangle logo representing Marten ‘fast-fast-forwarding’ to the finish. It hints at the three disciplines of triathlon as well.  

Bringing

the heat

In designing his race outfit, we further built on Marten’s positive energy. While he’s all about goofing around on non-race days, on race day that energy turns into a scorching heat. He’s focused. Determined. And ready to race. There’s no way around him. And that’s exactly what this vibrant and eye-catching outfit design points out to his competitors.

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Ellis