The evolution of BJJ patch design
Like most things in BJJ, the artwork used in creating our patches and club logos has greatly evolved over the years. From the earliest Gracie logos with the little stick dudes to the dodgy looking Gracie Barra Tasmanian Devils, right up to the current slick designs of Marcelo Garcia and the Mendes Bros, the evolution of the BJJ Patch design has come a long way.
The designs improving
Like most forms of art, evolution and progression in patch design has been a gradual process. Some art forms, whether they be of the martial art kind, or the painted or crafted kind tend to evolve unless purposefully frozen in time for a particular reason. This could be to retain it’s charm, historical importance or simply because those involved felt the art form had reached it’s zenith. Thankfully in BJJ this is not the case, the art continues to grow and evolve and unlike many other martial arts, has not stagnated and lost it’s freshness. So too in the case of it’s BJJ patches.
A more modern twist
Take for example these patches below. While not as slick as the current crop of designs, they are certainly a leap forward from the early batch and a lot easier on the eye. The use of color & design is much more evident and the there are even a few decent fonts thrown in there to please the eye. As to whether you like them or not is always a personal preference, but that is always the case with anything design related.
The new breed
The young crop of BJJ players that have made their mark in recent years have not only brought fresh and exciting matches, moves and training methods to our mats, but also their personal taste in BJJ patches and how they want their brand to look. The Mendes Bros are a good example, if you take a look at their club, everything is white, very clean and minimalist with some modern art on the walls, a quantum leap from most clubs. They have obviously put time and effort into not just how they carry out their teaching and training, but also how their club and brand look and how they present themselves to the world. These BJJ patches have clearly been designed with specific messages in mind, by a professional (or at very least someone with training in design) and have good balance between icon use and font & color. They work well and have become famous worldwide.
Another more modern twist to the BJJ patch is the inclusion of custom made professional illustrations. The designs used on our patches has now progressed to a point that we are no longer seeing the amateurish stick men (at least not as much) and are now seeing a lot more full color custom made illustrations to decorate our gi’s. This is a good sign, not only that the sport is evolving in it’s various aspects, but also it makes things a lot more interesting for the consumer, offering them more interesting products and the option of better looking attire. What will come next, will be interesting to watch.