Oliver Hilliker’s clean identity for Achilles Heel cements the running store as industry experts
Glaswegian running store Achilles Heel has been an eminent hub for the running community since the early 2000s, combining their expertise and passion for the sport with the field’s leading equipment, clothing and technology. Having not altered their identity for more than 20 years, Achilles Heel turned to Glasgow-based graphic and motion designer Oliver Hilliker for a graphic reinvention, with the hope of introducing a fresh audience to the store and sport.
Taking centre stage of the resulting identity is Hilliker’s use of Bureau Brut’s Bourrasque as the primary typeface – the variety and construction of which demonstrates the energy, passion and ability behind the business. Thoughtfully applied across dynamic yet pragmatic compositions of colour, copy and characters, the typography strikes a balance between candour and utility – resulting in an extensive brand that is undeniably engaging.
Working closely alongside copywriter Ruby Boddington in developing Achilles Heel’s voice, Hilliker built the identity upon the notion of understanding; seeking to communicate the challenge and grit of running, as well as its achievability and fundamental satisfaction. Providing a warm, reassuring and unpretentious informality to the brand’s output, the copy succinctly brings the brand back down to earth, making evident the priority the store places on their community.
This sentiment is further envisioned through Hilliker’s collaboration with Edinburgh-based illustrator Jack Fletcher, who lent his welcoming, playful and eccentric characters to the brand. Together with the store’s mix of fun and focus, Fletcher’s spirited drawings capture the tone of those behind the scenes, as well as Bourrasque’s compelling application and construction.
Supporting the fruitful and lively typography is the contrasting colour palette, for which Hilliker found inspiration within activewear. “The majority of the time the base colour is black or a soft grey with small pops of neon colour,” he tells us. “The nice thing about the colour palette is that it is informed by the industry so as the industry progresses and changes so will Achilles Heel.”