The Brand Identity

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Production Type and Hélène Marian combine to design 13 bespoke typefaces for the WNBA

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) takes place in the United States, consists of 12 teams and since starting in 1997, has become the most successful women’s professional sports league in the world. In April of 2019, the league unveiled its plans to rebrand in order to build a new generation of fans, more specifically “the 16-to-34 millennials, who are very diverse, very socially conscious and engaged in issues of today”, said WNBA COO Christy Hedgpeth.

The rebrand was led by international design consultancy Sylvain Labs, who created a new symbol for the league, moving away from the previous boxed-in version. Sylvain Labs, in turn, commissioned Production Type and Hélène Marian to create a new wordmark and bespoke family of typefaces.

The result is a roster of 13 diverse typefaces that fit with the league’s inclusive, forward-thinking ambitions. WNBA Normal, a regular width sans serif with six weights, is designed to feel classic and ultra-legible. It is most commonly used for long-running text in motion, digital and printed media as well as on scoreboards and functional signage. WNBA Condensed and WNBA Extended, with three weights each, frequently appear on advertising to give it a bold and memorable punch. Last but not least is WNBA Varsity, a single weight, super-condensed display typeface that’s used on the back of jerseys and for all narrow-spaced and numbered data.

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