Rebranding a well-loved publication
Summary: With media being under constant pressure (financial, political or self-inflicted in a rush for clicks), it’s hard to find a publication that stays true to high-quality, well-documented writing. Romanian tennis website 30-0.ro is one such rare bird. Five years after launch, they decided to push the boundaries of content formats and media, and become even more vocal – or activist – in promoting media standards and the respect towards the reader, the athletes, and the journalists. Hence the need for a rebranding and a new website.
After helping them launch sports publication Lead.ro, the younger brother in the pack, we’ve been granted the chance to rebrand tennis publication 30-0.ro. A more mature website, with a solid base of 430k unique visitors a year, 30-0 has always experimented with new media and formats: podcasts, live TV shows, fan stories turned into comics, fan reporting from tournaments, theme-based micro-sites. Their website became too restrictive for their ambitions, and their logo and visual style felt outdated. To maintain their financial health and uncompromised content, the publication also planned to launch a line of branded merchandise for sale, which meant they needed a highly appealing visual identity.
We ran an online survey among the publication’s readers to learn how they perceived the website compared to its competitors, what they did and what they didn’t like about it. The survey confirmed and detailed the publication’s uniqueness. The website was different from the rest, a maverick who, to its readers’ relief, did not post advertising banners, kept the design and the content clean and clear, wrote with passion and emotion, respected all its stakeholders, and did not use clickbait tactics.
With this confirmation at hand, and knowing the website planned to get even more innovative in formats and content ideas, we defined the brand mission: Taking tennis further. (original: Purtăm tenisul mai departe.) Its activist role in preserving professional standards came through in the positioning: Tennis journalism as journalism should be.
The new 30-0 is a great step in our plans. We are getting our website ready for the next stage, for the new generation of readers and for the way they consume content. Everything is new on 30-0.ro, but one thing stays the same: our passion for a carefully done job, for relevant, smart, creative and accountable journalism.
The logo is very simple, yet full of meaning: a custom number 3 is composed of a line and an incomplete circle, suggestive for the tennis ball falling close to the field line. This can be the story of a brave game style, where the player goes for the lines, pushing the limits. It can as well be the story of a hawk-eye view (tennis jargon for reviewing where the ball fell during matches), suggestive for fact-checking and zooming-in to get the finest details.
But the true power of the new image comes from the electric colours and the modern visual style. Key titles paint the lines, just like in a gutsy tennis play. The blue of the hard tennis surface shows its most electric royal shade, while the green of the tennis ball is that seen in a sunny day. A publication who wants to go for more needs to show more colour and design as well.
We felt that our old website was limiting us in terms of formats. The old visual style could not support our plans and, as we always cared about design, we felt we needed to bring all our projects on the same page in order to stay fresh, different and relevant. Our new look is fantastic! The new logo accurately tells our story and reminds of our values. It is modern and bold, and yet it is beyond trends.
The brand-new website includes dedicated spaces for all types of content and plans to launch a new, mobile-first format soon. Then, through branded merchandise, 30-0 will take tennis even further.