Fonts for Tennis
Cover image from the Adobe Stock free library

Fonts for Tennis

Since moving to Los Angeles I have fallen in love with the oh-so-trendy Pickleball, but on a recent trip back to the UK I was happily glued to the TV watching some of the early matches at Wimbledon. I was really digging some of the new graphics they had which inspired me to think about what fonts scream ‘Tennis’ to me.

One way I like to think about this is to list out words which a subject evokes to help focus on what fonts could work well. Things like Elegant, Dynamic, Swift, Sporty, Fancy, etc come to mind for me with Tennis. We can use these as a base reference or almost ‘mood board’ to dig into font discovery.

Another way of going about it is to analyze current designs specifically for Tennis—think logos, merch, posters, adverts, anything and everything. What fonts have we been conditioned to seeing maybe without even realizing? You can also use this approach to disect some of the descisions of previous designers who have taken on this type of project. What decisions lead them to these choices? How well did the end design work?

Ok enough chat—let’s look at what I came up with. Let me know your favorite other suggestions in the comments!

These fonts are all available on Adobe Fonts, where you can easily add them and try them out in your favorite creative tools.


Tenez from Plau — This one may well be cheating given all of the marketing from this delectable serif designed by Rodrigo Saiani was around Tennis but hey, I HAD to include it. It’s always a great idea to do a little research on why a font was designed and if it matches what you’re looking for you know you are on to a winner. Featured in this sample is the Black Italic style in all caps, but truely this whole family exudes all the qualities I was after. I love the uppercase ‘R’ so much.

Bodoni Egyptian

Bodoni Egyptian from Shinntype — This is a real fun reimagination of what the classic typeface Bodoni would be like if it were a monolinear slab serif. Nick Shinn, the designer, refers to it as a ‘historical fiction’ which I love. ‘Egyptian’ in the name is another slighlty less common name for slab serif, where the serifs are more square and block-like. Monolinear is a fancy way of saying that it’s all the same stroke weight throughout. Now, the original Bodoni has a very high contrast so it’s interesting to see how the same skeleton forms this very different style. I chose this one, and especially the lighter weight shown here, as the letters evoke the feeling of the lines on the courts.


Hotel from Parkinson Type Design — While you could imagine this used for some golden glitzy retro hotel signage, Jim Parkinson’s Hotel just oozes a sporty vibe. The inline style has me picturing all the characters as running tracks (heck, now I want to see an event where people have to run around different giant letters). This one is maybe a little less Tennis specific, but I think it works.

Marlide Display

Marlide Display from Kontour — This Variable font by Sibylle Hagmann has a weight axis, so not only do you have access to the typical wieghts you might expect, but you also can pick a point anywhere in between for ultimate customization. Between the high x-height, sharp serifs, and high contrast this is giving me the elegance I was after.


Bonnie from Original Type — Italics are always a good way to give a speedy element to your designs. The inherant movement across the text brings the dynamism we all know from Tennis. I guess it could be kinda fun to have a font with both an italic and a backslant version to play off the back-and-forth nature of the game too. While that isn’t the case here, I’m still really digging Bonnie which was a new find for me from Artur Schmal.


Anisette from Typofonderie — I am a huge fan of Jean François’ ability to capture the French vibe so perfectly in his fonts. This geometric Art Déco font is included here to pay homage to the French Open. It immediately makes me want to go to Paris.


Omnes from Darden Studio — We’ve had a lot of sharp forms so far, so I wanted to mix things up a bit with this choice. Joshua Darden’s Omnes is a powerhouse family which I always find myself coming back to. It has such a great flexibility in being able to both bring a punch of personality with its curves for branding yet not have too much to distract in longer runs of text. I can totally picture a racket sport apparel brand using it.

Miller Headline

Miller Headline from Carter & Cone — I mean, come on, just LOOK at that ‘w’! Miller is a classic family by Mathew Carter, with the Headline version coming a bit later in the series. I love how the word Tennis here almost feels like a match. Picture the ball being hit back-and-forth over the net between each of the tails of those letters from the ‘e’ to the ‘i’ — then ‘s’ for smash at the end!


Gibson from Canada Type — Rod McDonald’s sturdy contemporary humanist sans serif has been very popular for everything from UI to corporate design. It holds its own against the sea of other similar fonts and brings a versitility which could easily be used for numerous things within a Tennis design.


Span from Jamie Clarke Type — I’ve picked the Compressed width here to bring some variety in the serif choices, and it’s really how regal it feels in the lighter weights which caught my eye. I could picture this being used really big on a billboard etc for a luxurious advert.

Thanks for reading, let me know which other sports I should do next!