Christopher Mollard

User Experience contractor designer researcher developer lead

Scottish fencing mask design

A new mask design for the Scottish fencing team

Fencing mask with a Scottish flag

The final design for the Scottish fencing mask

Date:

June 2016

Categories:

Product designMarketing

Client:

Scottish Fencing Association

Some background

In the world elite fencing there are many countries who's fencers look very impressive. I wanted to help Scotland get noticed up there too.

The brief

Create a striking and unique design to be placed on a fencing mask that can make it apparent that the fencer is Scottish.

The process

The process I am a competitive fencer and have been on the scene for a little while now so I was already aware of what was out there - some of the mask designs already in use are very cool. Many countries that compete at the highest level already use their flags on masks to distinguish themselves from others on the piste:

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Mask designs from Leon Paul, image from the Leon Paul website.

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An American and British fencer, image from the Huffington Post website.

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An American fencer at London 2012

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A British fencer at London 2012

The end users are competitive fencers who are representing Scotland, or with a view to doing so. This is a solo project where the only stakeholder is me but otherwise did work with other Scottish fencers to test designs.

I used these as inspiration and tried to combine the patterns used on existing masks with some Scottish icons as a starting point for coming up with a design. Even with limited geographical knowledge you would be hard pressed not to recognise a number of those flags - and if you can't the rest of the kit usually helps to determine that:

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Top left to bottom right: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Barbados

Scottish fencers usually wear stripes to determine their nationality, which use a repetition of the Scottish flag down the arms and the legs. I immediately disregarded any mask designs that would use thistles, mountains or other slightly ambiguous imagery and decided to stick with a variation on the flag as I believed it to be bolder:

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Sketches of the mask designs

The only icon that I considered using was The Lion Rampant, but again didn't think it came across as strongly as a simpler design so I decided to go with that.

Scottish fencing mask design: white closs on blue mask with white Lion Rampant above it
Scottish fencing mask design: white cross on blue mask
Scottish fencing mask design: blue stripe on white mask
Scottish fencing mask design: grey stripe on black mask
Scottish fencing mask design: blue offset stripe on white mask
Scottish fencing mask design: mostly white
Scottish fencing mask design: grey cross on blue mask
Scottish fencing mask design: white stripe on blue mask

The final mask designs

The FIE has put together a complete list of approved mask designs and logos and country codes that can be worn on kit.

The outcome

The final design is a design of a Scottish flag, simple looking but strong and keeping to basics.

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The final design for the Scottish fencing mask