Dating back to the early 1980s, Copenhagen Marathon has long been part of the Copenhagen story, but as it grew in size and strength, it was time to claim its own identity and define its place in the city’s next chapter. We worked with Sparta to clarify the core of the experience and roll out a new identity across the plethora of touchpoints that make up an event of this scale.
In the early years, marathons were only really for the few – “the oddballs”, as Niels Jørgen Holdt explains. Part of the organizing team since the beginning, Holdt recalls how runners had to complete the race on pure willpower, with no real spectators or fans to cheer them on. Live updates were still a sci-fi dream, and the results could only be found the following day – on the windows at one of the city's leading newspapers.
43 years on, the story is a different one. Copenhagen Marathon has claimed its position on the calendar and people from all over the world are traveling to the city for a spectacle that includes fan zones, entertainment and a festival-like atmosphere across Copenhagen – all intensely documented.
To take advantage of the momentum and continue to define its part in the story, it was time to give the Copenhagen Marathon a brand lift.The departure of long time lead-sponsor Telenor opened up to rethinking the essentials of the brand, from logo to colors and typography. We wanted to build the brand from the core, focusing on the defining elements that would make the marathon recognisable, even from afar.
The many years of Telenor blue was replaced by a new CPH42 yellow, a strong signal color that stands out against a selection of grayscale tones. The new logo takes inspiration from runner’s legs and the “fast forward” button, signaling a progressive and forward-looking attitude of the Copenhagen Marathon.
We strategically defined Copenhagen as a “runner’s habitat” and put spotlight on the moments and stories that define a marathon runner beyond the event itself – pre, during and post. From training to the gear, from the good moments to the struggles: Stories that allow Copenhagen Marathon to take part in the conversation all year around – for many years to come.