First let’s look at the previous logo (I’ll get to the new one in juuuuust a second):
I’m fond of the previous logo, but there are a couple things about it that stick out. First, it doesn’t really call to mind athletes playing at their physical peak. You don’t look at this logo and immediately think, maybe squash IS the “healthiest sport in the world”.
Another problem is the old-school rackets. Now don’t get me wrong, I love old-school rackets, but this is a sport that’s trying to emphasize its global appeal, and is making a concerted effort in the US to grow our Urban Squash programs. It’s not really helping if your logo looks like it was designed by the Duke brothers.
So at this point in time, it does make sense to put a new logo together. And this is what they have come up with:
Here are some of the changes:
- It looks more “action-oriented”, as they termed it on the US Squash Website.
- Bye-bye Duke Brothers style. The new logo emits warmer, fuzzier feelings of inclusiveness (unless you play on the PST). The old logo is actually being retained as the visual identity of the US Squash Hall of Fame, which I think is a nice touch.
- They changed to a sans-serif font. It’s a more clean and modern look (I use a sans-serif font on Squash Source too).
- They kept the “shield” shape. This does make sense for continuity reasons, though it presents some problems I’ll get to later.
- They ditched the periods (now it’s US instead of U.S.). Screw you, periods, full stop.
- It’s red, white and blue. #USA
- They separated the lettering out of the shield shape. This is more versatile, for all that US Squash swag you’ll be buying.
Image via US Squash brand guidelines page
Now, in a spirit of good-natured ribbing, can we talk about a couple of the downsides?
Well the biggest problem is the logo doesn’t actually “look” like squash. They’ve put the “T” in there, but it doesn’t really remind me of the T on a squash court, probably because it’s curved. I thought the very essence of a T was 90 degree angles? Maybe squash is blowing up so big we need to start accounting for the curvature of the earth’s surface.
The other element of the logo is a ball flying through the air. I know squash does, in fact have a ball traveling though the air, but it doesn’t feel like a unique selling point. Perhaps they might have considered having the ball ricochet off the wall?
Here is the logo without the word “squash” on it. Does it still look like we’re playing squash?
Part of the challenge, of course, is when you have a shield-shaped logo, you only have one straight line to play with. I’m not sure how you get a 90-degree T, a ricocheting ball, AND an “action-oriented” logo, all in one. I would have liked to see some of the design mockups they went through in deciding on this logo.
Anyway, that concludes our breakdown of the new US Squash logo. Stay tuned for next week, when I complain that the Ferrari logo doesn’t “look” like cars.