The Metropolitan Squash Racquets Association (MSRA) is a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers and one part-time paid coordinator. It has been active in the New York area since 1924. They oversee 2 tournaments, the Grand Open and the New York Open, which draw 200+ amateur players and run a league with over 700 players on 74 teams across 8 divisions. Their mission statement: “NY Squash’s mission is to further the development, progress, and establishment of the game of squash in the New York area. NY Squash seeks both to introduce new players to the game, and to inspire current players to excellence, fair play, and healthy competition.”
In August of 2010 the MSRA decided that a rebranding was in order. The organization’s name would be simplified and updated and they would now be known as “New York Squash“. After changing their name they approached graphic design agencies around the world and after reviewing work they chose Squash Republic and Pacey + Pacey Design from a group of over fifteen international advertising agencies and design studios to guide them through the rebranding process. Squash Republic worked closely with then MSRA president Corey Modeste and volunteer board member Emily Stieff and over a six month period created the new look that officially launched January 6th, 2014..
We have come across many of your logos in the squash world and think you have a great range and capture the sport well through your graphics. Your logos are very well designed and we would say some of the best in the squash world. – NY Squash
In 2011 the Metropolitan Squash Racquets Association (MSRA) had polled their membership and decided to completely rebrand themselves. The MSRA moniker and accompanying logo was no longer felt to be representative of the myriad players and clubs that made up the squash community in the New York area.
Squash Republic and Pacey + Pacey Design were tasked with creating a new logo that would bring New York Squash into the 21st century and brand them as one of the most important squash organizations in the United States.
The Rebranding Process
Stage one of any design project is getting to know the client and their market and then putting pencil to paper and creating. We presented New York Squash with a questionnaire to help us understand the organization and then we got to work. This is probably the most exciting time of the branding process because the possibilities are endless and this project was no different. The first presentation contained five unique concepts for the board to consider.
Which direction would you have chosen?
Our second presentation showed some new ideas that came out of the discussion generated by the initial pencil roughs. At this point the artwork is presented in a tighter more “finished” style. Two of the logos focused on the squash racquet while the third was a collage of “all things New York” and was our favourite until we hit upon the solution.
While testing various fonts for taglines we realized that the abbreviation “NY” was globally understood to stand for New York. This was an approach we hadn’t tried yet believe it or not. One design leap later and the double yellow dots of the squash ball became visual punctuation and after a near unanimous approval from the New York Squash board, the new logo for NY Squash was born.
Robert Pacey, of Squash Republic, and Michael Pacey, of Pacey + Pacey Design, would like to personally thank Corey Modeste and Emily Stieff for choosing to work with us and for their dedication and insightful contributions that helped us all get to the solution. It was a pleasure working with you.