US OPEN REBRAND
The American tennis event has a brand new identity, courtesy of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. Three creatives offer their views...
Three perspectives on the tennis tournament’s new identity
SAGI HAVIV Partner, Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv www.cghnyc.com
“For the 50th anniversary of the US Open, the United States Tennis Association decided to reinvent its visual identity. The mark that had been used for 20 years – an illustration of a flaming ball paired with thin serif type and a red swoosh – was a complicated image that had challenges in digital media. What’s more there were several different versions, which made it difficult to build recognition.
The new mark is an evolution of the flaming ball idea, distilled to its essence to work as a simple icon. The new modern symbol is paired with an italic, lower-case, sans-serif typography, with the name held together by a flipped ‘u’ and ‘n’. The result expresses the energy, spirit, and velocity of the flaming tennis ball and the tournament itself, while modernising the look, providing a more youthful appeal, and optimising the identity for use across multiple applications.”
TOM NEISH Creative director, Junction Studio www.junction-studio.com
“You cannot be serious? As neither an American, nor a tennis spectator, I hold no affection for the old US Open logo. Having said that, I do guiltily enjoy the old flaming tennis ball: it might be obvious and a little clumsy, but it does have personality. Which is more than can be said of the new logo from design powerhouse Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv.
I like the concept of taking the literal flame of the old logo and turning it into a more realistic streak of a tennis ball against the blue sky. But any dynamism is instantly snuffed out by that bank-ish blue and bland typography.”
ALEX BERKOWITZ Designer and developer www.alexberkowitz.com
“The old identity was bland and lacked energy, despite the logo being about 35 per cent flame. For the new look, some changes are more effective than others. The fiery tennis ball has evolved into a brilliant abstract streak and the vibrant new colour scheme adds some much-needed vitality. Unfortunately, the wordmark falls a bit flat, with a trendy all-lowercase capitalisation that lacks emotion and reads as ‘us open’.
Still, the italic font nicely echoes the motion of the ball and helps the mark feel cohesive. Overall, I think this is a welcome update, one that invokes an athletic spirit that was notably absent before. And that tennis ball is awesome.”