POINT OF VIEW is an ongoing series of articles by Legend staff members in which we share our thoughts on current themes in Asia-Pacific MMA, our upcoming events and match-ups, and questions we’ve been asked by fans.
A number of people have asked us about the origins of our logo. Across the MMA industry, brands seem to be focused on fonts rather than imagery, with two in particular used by most organizations: heavy block lettering and stylized Gothic script. We decided that as an Asia-Pacific organization focused on the martial arts heritage of our home region, we wanted to come up with a logo that paid homage to that.
With a particular focus on simplicity, and a desire to make our logo bilingual, we hit on the idea of integrating Chinese calligraphy into our logo. And the first person we thought of to design this element was an artist named Joey Pang. Joey is Hong Kong’s most well-known tattoo artist, and arguably one of the best in the region. The owner of local studio Tattoo Temple, she has personally done more than 100 hours of tattoo work on one of Legend’s co-founders, including an 80-hour full-back piece. So to say that we trust her would be an understatement!
In addition to her tattoo art, Joey is a classically trained Chinese calligrapher. And in a recent website interview, Joey shares her insights on this art form:
“Even though Chinese characters serve as a practical method of communication, the art of Chinese calligraphy is extremely complex – almost like a hidden layer behind a language we use every day. Calligraphy is said to be the art form most revealing of the artist’s personality. The level of individual interpretation, movement and style is what adds life to the writing. Calligraphy, much like any art, is something you can never ‘master.’ I’m still in training every day and classes a few times a week. When designing a [calligraphy] tattoo, I typically write out each character around 100 times according the client’s requested calligraphy style and period of history [since] each character is written differently according the time in Chinese history.”
Joey brought this level of perfectionism to her work on the Legend logo calligraphy, writing out the four characters countless times in a number of different styles, and ultimately giving us the five she felt were the best reflection of MMA and her own personal style.
From here, we provided the calligraphy to a young local graphic artist named Lun Wong (who also goes by the moniker 1kstyles), who is the man behind much of Legend’s design work. If you like our poster art, you can thank Lun for that. Inspired by the brush strokes in what he saw, he decided to apply a similar aesthetic to the word “Legend.” And as he worked his way through multiple iterations of our potential logo, he quickly hit upon the idea of stylizing Joey’s calligraphy as a traditional Chinese seal. The results of the work of these two amazing artists are what you see as our present logo.