the graphic design blog that speaks the truth

If you’re a follower of football (that’s soccer for my stateside readers), and in particular the English Premier League then you may be familiar with the owner of Wigan Athletic Football Club. And even if you’re not then there is a chance that you have indirectly given him money before. Dave Whelan has been the chairman of Wigan for over 10 years, having successfully helped the team rise through the divisions by part of vigorous investment. But what the hell has any of that got to do with logo design?

Away from football Dave Whelan is one of the most important figures in the UK Sports Merchandise industry, having acquired the famous JJB Sports in the late 1970s. Since selling JJB Whelan has now ventured into the online market by founding DW Sports Fitness, and with that obviously came the important decision of how to brand the new company.


Above is the DW Sports Fitness logo, and whilst not particulary ground breaking in terms of style, layout or typography, the new brand makes a fantastic connection with it’s target audience. The biggest sports focused television channel in the UK is Sky Sports and has been broadcasting since the start of the nineties.


Now let’s take a look at both logos for a second. Do you notice any similarities? The subtle reference to the Sky Sports logo by choosing a similar palette and type treatment in the DW Sports Fitness logo makes the viewer subconsciensly remember the huge broadcasting giant, which in general is seen as a very trusted service provider. This connection means that there is no need for an illustrated sports icon, the type does it all. That’s why I think this logo is particularly clever, even though it contains no visual trick or cunning wordplay.

What do you think?

I’m off to go buy a new pair of trainers and stick Sky Sports News on the TV.



  1. 05/12/09
    10:09 pm
    I must admit, when I saw the old jjb signs being taken down from local gyms, stores and soccer domes I feared the worst, not realising that Dave Whelan had rebranded the company. My initial reaction to the new logo was, not another 'no frills' sports direct budget style newcomer to the market. However I had never appreciated (consciously anyway) the similarity to the sky sports logo. A cunning ploy, simple too and probably cheapto implement. Thanks anyway for the background as its been bugging me as to why this happened in the fist place.
  2. 12/01/10
    7:11 pm
    Everyone aroun Wigan thinks the DW logo is rubbish
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