Softball Canada has unveiled a new emblem and brand system ©Softball Canada

Softball Canada has unveiled a new emblem and brand system as it aims to capitalise on the sport’s return to the Olympic Games programme at Tokyo 2020.

Shortly after the organisation celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, a decision was made to explore a new look that would unite the sport’s reach both domestically and internationally.

It is claimed the new emblem draws from Softball Canada’s first half-century of existence in a clean and impactful way, leading the path for a new generation of softball athletes, coaches and umpires.

A full brand analysis was conducted by Vancouver-based design firm Hulse & Durrell, which was enlisted by Softball Canada with the support of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and its National Sport Federation (NSF) Enhancement Fund.

It is said to have revealed a wide array of logo, colour and style variations currently in use.

Softball Canada states one of the main revelations from the process was a renewed focus on wordmark scripts, which have been featured on the front of Canadian softball uniforms since the early part of the 20th century.

A custom CANADA wordmark was developed as the identity of Softball Canada’s national teams' programme, with corresponding scripts being developed for all of Softball Canada’s development programmes.

"The wordmarks embrace our rich history and help build a modern identity for Canadian softball," Gilles LeBlanc, manager of marketing and communications at Softball Canada, said.

"Young softball athletes will be able to identify with their national team role models and recognise the pathway towards excellence through consistent branding."

Canada's men's softball team are the reigning world champions ©WBSC
Canada's men's softball team are the reigning world champions ©WBSC

Canada has established itself as one of the leading softball nations with the country’s men’s team ranked fourth in the world rankings and the women’s team third.

The men’s team are the reigning world champions, having triumphed in 2015, while the women’s team were bronze medallists on the global stage last year.

"Softball Canada has enjoyed a lot of national and international success and we felt it was the right time to launch a new era for the sport of softball in Canada," LeBlanc said.

"Our previous emblem has built a lasting legacy, but there was a lack of consistency with some of our programmes and events, which is addressed directly by our new branding system.

"People will know they are associated with excellent programmes across all levels of involvement in our sport."

Softball Canada claimed the extensive knowledge and expertise of Hulse & Durrell, which has recently launched a number of successful brands in the Canadian sport landscape, guided it through the creative process to achieve a look that will resonate with softball’s diverse audience, from athletes, coaches and umpires to administrators and spectators of all ages.

Event logos have also been simplified by making use of Softball Canada’s new emblem and typography in a bid to create a consistent look and feel across all Canadian Championships, coaching and umpire events and clinics.

A brand guidelines document has been created as well to ensure partners use the new markings correctly.

"We’re very excited to share our new branding with our members, provincial and territorial softball associations, partners and softball fans across the world," LeBlanc added.

"Softball has always been an exciting and fast-paced game, but its appeal has grown over the past decade and the future looks very bright.

"We look forward to continuing to develop and improve our programmes."

Softball will be making its Olympic return at Tokyo 2020 after appearing in four straight Games from Atlanta 1996 to Beijing 2008.