The best advertising distills things to their essence, and that’s certainly true of Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors’ recent work for Craft Sportswear around the sport of running.
A new print ad for the Gothenburg Half Marathon (also known as the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon) offers runners the ultimate practical advice for getting through the race—as you can see in the close-up image below.
The newspaper ad is an extension of a larger project that launched last year around the time of the New York City Marathon—a coffee table book called “The Ultimate Guide to Running” that similarly reduced running to the basics. That 240-page book, with an introduction by legendary long-distance runner Tommy “Rivs” Puzey, recently won a Golden Egg in the craft category at the Guldägget awards, Sweden’s biggest creative award show.
“To turn only two phrases into something interesting to read and look at throughout 240 pages was a great design challenge that took around ten months to complete,” Martin Joelsson and Chanelle Kazemi, designers at Forsman & Bodenfors Gothenburg, said of the book. “We worked with typography, turning big blocks of text into their own shapes, photography and premium materials, and then turned all those expressions together into one beautiful, rhythmic experience. Just as when you are running.”
“We wanted to explore what the essence of running was,” said Niklas Moberg, head of brand at Craft. “After digging deep, drawing from our collective experience being in the running business for over 40 years, we have poured all we know about how to become a great runner into this book. And the conclusion is, even if it is hard to admit, that it doesn’t matter what shoes you wear or what the logo on your shirt says. As long as you repeat putting your left foot in front of your right foot, you’re running.”
“We always strive to get to the core of any topic we work with,” said Karl Risenfors, creative at Forsman & Bodenfors Gothenburg. “In this case, we worked closely with Craft to identify what they and all runners have in common. To find the least common denominator. When we found that core we decided to celebrate that by implementing it in words and design. Repeating left foot, right foot in different ways, with different design elements and in different design environments.”