pride & remembrance run branding

As you know, I’m a runner. Last year I designed the race shirts and graphics for the IAAF Gold label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (where coincidentally the 32 year standing Canadian Marathon record was broken).

I’ve done shirt for the marathon again this year, but also have been super busy since December working on the total creative direction for the pride & remembrance run, a 5k run and 3k walk (happening this Saturday if you happen to be in town!).

It’s a pretty unique race, one that draws Olympians and Pan Am Games Athletes, fast local runners, all the local run crews, as well as first time couch to 5k runners, the entire LGBTQ+ community, families, and even pets!

I have been responsible for creating a new brand platform and vision, brand identity, sponsorship strategy, engagements on social, local activations and even assembling an Elite Athlete program. We even brewed a beer! My design responsibility also involved all graphics (beer label included!), race T & bibs, medal design, wayfinding, web & social media.

It’s been a huge project but something I’ve been very happy to work on. Working directly with the Board of Directors, Race Director and the community as well as lots of runner friends has allowed me the opportunity to again combine two of my passions - running & design.

I’ve written Part 1 of an article outlining the branding process. Have a look.

Short Exceprt below-

Your brand is much more than your name, logo, or wordmark. I can however, understand the confusion. Too often we see big companies “re-brand” and just smooth out an old logo or add a new tagline to corporate letterhead.

From my perspective however, a name, logo and wordmark are part of a brand, but it is much more than the sum of these parts. A good brand also encompasses Principles. Personality. Purpose.

A brand is like a company’s DNA – something that guides WHO you are, WHAT you do, WHY and HOW you do it.

A perfect example of this is the recent consulting Creative Direction and branding for the pride & remembrance run. Let’s take a look at the process and see why there is so much more than a logo involved.

Strategy & Positioning

The first step of any branding project is a guided strategic process via questionnaires and interviews to determine the background, goals and positioning keywords for the development of a Brand Brief.

I’ll provide some additional insights and content here ASAP, but just wanted to share. Lots more pics coming post race of course too!


Fantastic work! Congratulations Richard!

Thanks Michael.

Lots more to come but wanted to get this out before the race! Got some ID insider stuff to post here too on the medal design …


What a great event! And great work, as usual! Looking forward to seeing more about those medals… very cool.

Thanks, Chris. Here’s also a mini version of the medal we made as a lapel pin. Pretty surprised how much detail is possible on such a small casting.


Lovely logo! And great work on the detailing.

This year is the 25th anniversary… it’s going to be a virtual run, but a huge party!

Medal just got revealed!

Colorful vacuum plate finish and bonus commemorative 25th anniversary rose gold keychain/charm.

Virtual run is June 19-27 and registration opens April 25!


Really nice work on that medal! Looks awesome.

I remember you asking around here about that finishing! It looks like you were able to control the pattern somewhat, and that it’s not a random application. Can you tell more about that?

That’s a great application for that finish! Very fitting of the event. If I were a runner, I’d be signing up just for the medal!

The finish actually isn’t able to be controlled but it’s a perfect story that ever medal is unique. Getting it right was actually not as hard as expected given I had to work remotely with the supplier, but luckily they had done something similar so were able to understand the direction.

It’s getting a great reaction on social and the finish looks even better with proper studio photos. Some more pics-


Design Case Study of the 2021 pride & remembrance run…

More participants.
Fastest sell out.
Highest revenue.
Highest fundraising.

To say the 2021 virtual pride & remembrance run has been a success is an understatement. Breaking any of these records would be an achievement for any event as longstanding as the pride & remembrance run, but breaking all records, during a pandemic when many races have been struggling to appeal to runners required a special kind of design and strategy.


Totally killing it. The sketches are so fresh.

2022 pride & remembrance run recently launched!

As consulting Creative Director, I’m responsible for the concept, all branding, graphics, race kit design, sponsor integration, and

The first in-person event since 2019 and this year is going to be huge!

Registration opened this morning and we surpassed our total opening day registration record in the first 30min. On track to sell out 50% later this afternoon!

The 2022 Campaign concept, “___with pride” is focused on finding the pride in all of us. Embracing, growing and supporting the diverse communities that identify with pride and celebrating pride in everything we do, every day- not just once a year or only on race day.

run with pride is an invitation to join us. It’s is a call to action.

New for 2022 the race kit design features a choice of technical apparel, T or singlet. With all the colors, with all the technical features. Wearable all the time, supporting the diverse communities that identify with pride and celebrate pride every day- not just on race day.

The pattern abstracts the rainbow heart pride & remembrance run logo and includes all the colors of the pride flags in a continuous quilt of color and community that is connected “with pride.”

We also did a really fun Ambassador kit with custom socks and bandana.


New for 2022, official fundraising apparel collection.

This exclusive limited edition collection was designed to support local 2slgbtq+ community charities. 100% of proceeds go to fundraising.

These might be my favorite apparel design I’ve done to date. Just so many great details like the tiny hearts that make up the background pattern or the rear pattern that evokes a knit vent or front center progress flag stripe.


Cool stuff RK. I really like that 8-bit heart icon repetition. Has multiple levels of ‘reads’.

Do you ever consider what the apparel will look like when in motion? Is that even possible?

That’s a great question, Slippy. I do think about what the apparel looks like in motion and also how it reads from far and in photos. There’s a lot of levels as you mention.

A good example are these other shirts I did. They are both designed to have impact from afar and in photos and give a very different look than how they are up close. The effect is pretty cool.

I also like to hide things in the design.

The one with the dots has the number of dots filled that corresponds to the distance (in km). 42.2 for marathon, 21.1 for half marathon, etc.

The one with the rings has 30 rings for the 30th anniversary.


These would look great translated into cycling kits, too. Nice work as usual!

Thanks, Chris! I don’t cycle, but I love cycling kits. There’s a lot of nice graphics out there and I actually looked at them quite a bit for inspiration for that fundraising collection all overprint graphic.


Some of today’s pro kits make me happy that I’m no longer a road-bike-riding MAMIL.
They do however look good at speed, on skinny fast racer types.