Case Study: Hassan Ali ‘The Lion’ Re-branding and Team Apparel

Who Is Hassan Ali ‘The Lion’?

For those who have been living under a rock for the past few years, Hassan Ali Ahmed, or Hassan Ali ‘The Lion’ as he is better known, is a young kickboxing champion from Burton, UK who has managed to attain great success in his chosen sport, all at a very young age, and he’s still going strong.

Hassan Ali at ICO

Hassan Ali at the British ICO Championships 2010

I was recently commissioned by his 2010 sponsor, Stylz Hairdressing (if you haven’t heard of SH by now, then you need to take a gander through my portfolio) to re-brand his official logo and supply his 2010 team apparel.

This guy is a phenomenal talent and was selected to become ‘Sports Personality of the Year 2009’ for the Staffordshire area – not a minor achievement, kids! He’s on top of his game and all set to join the British Olympic Team for 2012.

Hassan Ali

Hassan in action (with a swift kick to the chin!)

I take my hat off to him, because at the age of 16, I was just about learning to use the TV’s remote control(!)

Just goes to show really, hard-work and motivation gets you where you want in life, even at a young age(!)


Hassan’s Titles and Achievements

His official titles are:

  • World Kickboxing Association (WKA) – Junior Area – achieved at the age of 13 in 2007
  • International Sport Kickboxing Association (ISKA) – Midlands Champion – achieved in 2009
  • European Gold Medalist – achieved at the age of 15 in 2009
  • World Association Kickboxing Organisation (WAKO) British – achieved at the age of 16 in February 2010
  • ICO International Combat Organisation – achieved at the age of 16 in June 2010

So, in a nutshell, you know he can kick some serious ass if he needs to(!)


The New Logo

The owner of Stylz Hairdressing, Haroon ‘Harris’ Yousaf, from my home town of Nelson (woohoo!) is a friend of mine as well as a valued client. We’ve shared a mutual social/professional relationship for years with lots of piss-taking and brotherly-banter thrown in for good measure (it kinda works!).

Hassan Ali 'The Lion' logo

The final confirmed logo concept

So, apart from the usual signage, graphic design, printing and custom clothing I do for Harry, I knew THIS project was an important one for him because he was Hassan’s official sponsor for 2010 (jammy git!).

Anyways, as he had inked the deal with Hassan’s repesentatives, a few months ago, I was approached by Harris to design some new logo concepts for Hassan. I knew they had to be better than perfect so it was quite a challenge for me too, but within a few days, I had a draft prepared of possible concepts and Harry e-mailed them over to the guys in Hassan’s camp.

They were a hit and you can see the chosen logo above – slick, I know(!)

Printed Team Hoodies

Forward a few months to July 2010 and the order was given to supply a large number of sponsored team hoodies to be worn by Hassan, his training camp and colleagues.

He was due to perform in a charity event to help raise funds and awareness for Gaza and Palestine and they needed the hoodies in time for this – again, I take my hat off to Hassan for such a positive attitude towards the REAL issues in the world (I’m running outta hats here).

As usual when working with Harry, time wasn’t on our sides and the order came a few days before the event, so I had to get my ass in gear to supply them in time.

Hassan Ali hoodies

Confirmed design draft

I designed the hoodies within a day and whizzed the design-drafts over to get them confirmed. Confirmation came quick, so the race was on. You can see the design-draft on he left and how they opted for a gold and white logo on black hoodies – a great colour-choice.

Burning The Midnight Oil

For sharpness in detail, colour variation and quality purposes, I opted for vinyl-transfer printing. This meant having all the various colours and decals cut using my ‘ol’ faithful’ cutter, and then weeded to get rid of the excess. I used the best ‘Eco-Flex’ vinyl material to guarantee great results and vivid colours – especially the shiny gold which was part of the logo.

I enlisted the help of a coupla trusted ‘homies from the neighbourhood’ because this order consisted of highly detailed cuts and positioning – and we were pushed for time. In no time, my workshop was a mess and we were working till 3am both nights before the charity event.

hassan hoodys

Detailing on the back - gold vinyl looked great!

Some of the cuts, such as the upper arm detail were intricately small lettering, so my homie ‘Arthur’ came to the rescue, sat himself down at my desk and proceeded to weed the cuts. Of course, Arthur did a great job and impressed me with his ability to finely weed small lettering and decals. Go, Arthur!

After cutting, weeding and pressing the hoodies, they were swiftly packed and Harris set off, with Stylz staff in tow, for Burton, Staffordshire to personally deliver them to Hassan and his team. I would have loved to also go and meet the champ, but I had a meeting planned early next day so couldn’t justify the late-night road-trip, even if it meant missing out on meeting Hassan and co.

The lads arrived very late, but there was still some time for a few photo-opps with Hassan, showing his new sponsored hoodies. Below are some snaps from the night they were delivered.

Hassan Ali

Hassan Ali and the staff from Stylz Hairdressing

Hassan Ali and his Father

Hassan and his Father

All in all, I’m glad I had the opportunity to work for such a promising young man, definately beats the usual teen flock of cider-drinking, dole-dossing, 2pac-impersonating teenagers who’s only projected claim to fame is a possible appearance on ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’.

From me, a big shout-out to Hassan and the boys from Stylz Hairdressing. Long may you all continue to do what you do best.

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