Established in 1953, Volleyball Canada is the national organization responsible for the growth and development of the sport, involved in all levels, from recreational pick-up games and grassroots development to high level international competitions, including managing the beach, indoor, and sitting volleyball teams at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The organization counts with 80,000 members and hosts various competitions year-round. Earlier this month, Volleyball Canada introduced a new identity designed by Vancouver-based Hulse & Durrell.
The new emblem sheds the complexity of previous incarnations. An evolved icon to represent a new generation of athletes. The typography is constructed from simple geometric shapes, circles and straight lines, which are reflected in the equipment and on the field of play. Representing both indoor and beach volleyball, the colour palette expands from traditional Canadian colours into beach-inspired aqua, salmon and violet.
The old heavily stroked logo went against the quickness, agility, and smoothness of the sport, feeling overburdened with all that black around it. The “speed” lines were a touch much and the condensed/extended wordmark was a bad combination. The new logo is signature Hulse & Durrell, with an icon that makes the best use of the obligatory maple leaf and renders it in a way that feels contemporary and exciting. The way it integrates the volleyball is elegant and beautifully done, with the thickness of the ball’s lines matching the thickness of the spacing between the ball and the leaf at its tightest spots. Not crazy about the stroked versions — I would love to see the black background without the white stroke, I bet it would look bad-ass — but you can’t win them all. The wordmark, in Avant Garde Gothic, complements the icon quite well and is used beautifully on the website.
The use of Avant Garde also extends nicely into event logos and sets quite convincingly on a curve.
Applications shown are on the limited side but you get the gist: red, black, and white + Avant Garde in Swiss-ish style layouts. Can’t argue with that, especially when it’s so well done. Overall, an elegant, modern update with just enough in-your-face attitude.
Thanks to Owen Kerr for the tip.