Saint Urbain’s inclusive identity for Erne welcomes everyone to the wacky world of Pickleball
A combination of badminton, table tennis and tennis, Pickleball is making waves across the USA, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. Creating a bespoke platform to provide player support, tips and information, as well as curated recommendations for gear and guides, Erne is seeking to be a Pickleball player’s one-stop-shop.
Looking to reach the full spectrum of Pickleball players – from the uninitiated admirer to the professional sportsperson – Erne collaborated with NYC and LA-based creative agency Saint Urbain on an inclusive, approachable visual identity; one that reflects the spirit and playfulness of the sport itself. “What we aimed to achieve was a modern brand that spoke to all ages and backgrounds,” Creative Director Alex Ostroff tells us, noting their desire for the identity to speak with sincerity, as well as candour. “It’s fun,” Ostroff explains, “but not a total joke.”
Taking immediate inspiration from the sport’s own resolve, Erne’s wordmark is a custom creation from Saint Urbain, influenced by the duality of Pickleball. “It’s bold, confident, and unique,” Ostroff describes, “and designed to capture the essence of the game,” he adds, imbuing unadulterated happiness and a sincere sense of craftspersonship within its construction.
Supporting Erne’s bespoke letterforms is a colourful combination of secondary typefaces, the culmination of which reflects the pragmatic and playful nature of the sport, similarly to the wordmark. Opting for Gradient Type Foundry’s Radial, Dinamo’s ABC Diatype and Authentic Sans. “We chose them because at the end of the day Erne is a database and resource centre,” Ostroff recalls, therefore needing to balance a sense of technicality – as demonstrated by the use of ABC Diatype’s monospace cut – alongside the brand’s vibrancy.
“While the brand elements are quirky and expressive,” he adds, “the fonts are simple, fresh, and very communicative,” Ostroff remarks. With this in mind, the typefaces across the brand are often implemented in somewhat illustrative ways, communicating direct actions, phrases and moves found within the sport. “Occasionally our font treatments will twist or bend a little,” Ostroff recalls, “in order to keep things silly,” a sentiment shared with Erne’s spirited, Pickleball-court-inspired colour palette. “They’re meant to host this fun universe,” he concludes, “but not overpower it.”