The Signum was such a critical element to the armies of Rome that large battles were fought if they were ever lost
As I’m sure many of you are wondering…what is a Signum? Where did it come from? How does it relate to CrossFit? And how do you even pronounce it? Well to answer the last question, it is pronounced “Sig” as in Cigar and “num” as in number….Signum.
We all love a story so I am going to tell you the story of how we came up with the name Signum for our CrossFit gym. And no it is not short for Sign-Um-Up, as a buddy of mine joked!
I categorize names for CrossFit gyms in two broad categories. The first is geographically. The risk of a geographically based name is if you ever have to change locations. This can be due to personal/family issues, leasing issues, etc. Or what if you want to open another location in a different city? How would you brand the two together?
The second type of name falls into the “motivational” category. This type of name goes something like CrossFit <insert some motivational slogan/name>. Examples of this are names like CrossFit Thrusters Until You Die or CrossFit Maniacs & Muscles or CrossFit Thrive Through The Pain and CrossFit Bro (I suggested that last one but was quickly shot down). You get the gist.
My wife Emily is a very creative person who worked in the fashion industry for 13 years in NYC and Baltimore. I still find it amazing that she married someone that owns a pair of cargo pants and my favorite color is anything camo! So with that, the name has to have meaning to us, sound “cool” and look sharp on a sign or shirt.
In my previous career, I worked for an investment firm in Baltimore. A former mentor of mine sparked my interest for history and in particular Roman history. I love everything about it, from the days of the early Roman Republic, the Punic Wars, the Judeo-Claudian Dynasty, the Five Good Emperors of Rome, The Triumvirate, The Tetrarchy. Yes I considered naming it Tetrarchy but even I can barely say it. Sorry, I digress.
Well, the power of Rome was with the legions. Whoever had the backing of the legions, controlled Rome and its provinces. Within the Roman legions, a signifier carried a Standard or Signum. It was often a large flag or pennant attached to a pole. At the top sat either a boar, wolf, horse, minotaur or the more popular eagle. The Signum was the military emblem of the unit that identified the infantry or cavalry unit. It was also the rallying point which evoked a sense of pride and a means of communication for the troops.
The Signum was such a critical element to the armies of Rome. Large battles were fought if they were ever lost. (Google “Battle of Carrhae” and the infamous “Battle of the Teutoburg Forrest”). During the years of the Republic, the Signum was imprinted with SPQR (Senate and People of Rome). So the Signum represented not only the legions but also the citizens of the Republic and its policies. So from that came our name, Signum.
We see the future home of Signum as our sense of pride, our rallying point, as well as a means to communicate with our members to help them reach their health and fitness goals.
Stay tuned everyone. The amazing Emily Connors has been working hard on our branding. We hope to debut it in the coming weeks!