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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Oval is the New Circle

Reviewed Nov. 11, 2010 by Brand New

Industry / Sports Tags /

WTA Logo, Before and After

WTA, the Women’s Tennis Association, is the principal organizer of women’s professional tennis, the WNBA of the tennis world. It consists of 2,225 athletes, representing 91 nations, competing for more than $86 million in prize money. The new identity is meant to symbolize the modernization of the organization, and will be showcased throughout its 53 annual events and four Grand Slams in a wide variety of media. WTA recently unveiled its new identity, created by Chermayeff & Geismar

The new mark is designed to serve as a distinctive and modern reminder of the captivating athleticism and excitement that has driven the international popularity and growth of women’s pro tennis and placed it firmly at the nexus of sport and entertainment… "By diverging from the expected approach of featuring an image of an athlete, we created a mark that is unusual in pro sports, and its appropriately bold identity will over time come to recall the incredible athletes that represent women’s tennis," said Chermayeff & Geismar Partner and designer Tom Geismar.
WTA Website


Other major sports organizations

The world of sports branding is filled with literal visuals: sports equipment, athletes’ silhouettes and animal mascots. The new WTA logo, created by Tom Geismar, was created using a more abstract icon meant to represent the mark a ball makes on the tennis court.


Literal visuals are common in the world of tennis.

One of the mark’s most successful visual strategies is its choice of color. It is interesting that an organization that has fought so hard for equal pay would have the confidence to use a color palette commonly associated with the feminine. The new colors come across as empowering and are unique to the category. The sleekness of the shape and gradient suggests agility and speed—two important qualities in the world of professional tennis.

The new identity is distinct and its presence, created by the solidity of the oval, allows it to stand out in co-branded applications.


The previous application of the logo was confined, almost exclusively, to a Sony Ericsson dominated sponsorship format.


New sponsorship visuals.

While the mark, as a whole, is a leap forward, certain details take it a step backwards. In particular, the Fila-esque letterforms and tennis ball crossbar. While the oval communicates motion, the tennis ball referenced in the "A" is static and seems superfluous. Typographically, the "WT" ligature reinforces the visual isolation of the "A." The oval shape tells the story, while the details inside detract.


The new logo in its most complex and simplest forms.

If you’ve ever played tennis, you will know that overthinking can affect your performance. The same goes for identities. While this new logo is a step in the right direction, a simplified typographic treatment would have been more successful.

Rietje Gieskes is a designer, design director and aspiring illustrator based in New York City. She has worked at several branding agencies including Landor Associates and Interbrand. Originally from the Netherlands, she provides a global perspective to her clients. When not at work, Rietje enjoys sharing design inspiration on her blog.



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