Opened last year, Acapulco Padel & Club (APC) is, as its name half-implies, a padel club in Hisings Backa, a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden. Named after the beach-side city in Mexico where the sport was invented in 1969 by Enrique Corcuera, APC builds on the growing popularity of the sport in Europe with a rare, dedicated space to padel, and in a premium setting to boot. The identity for APC has been designed by Stockholm, Sweden-based Bedow.
As Acapulco is the place where Padel was born, it felt appropriate that it should also be the name of Sweden’s first premium Padel brand. The visual identity pays homage to the celebrated Mexican beach resort while referencing the sport’s distinctive bat designs.
The Acapulco word mark is written in a custom typeface composed entirely from punched holes that echo the negative space in Padel bats. Complementing this core element is a dotted monogram, hole-punched icons and pictograms and a series of accent colours chosen to marry with a signature blue found on the standard Padel court.
Referencing the hole patterns in padel rackets, the wordmark is a beautiful, custom, italic, slab serif, dotted concoction that is totally unexpected and amazingly manages to capture a key element of the sport and feel like a premium sports venue. I love how the letters even have a thick-and-thin contrast with the left sides having two dots — a feat that is especially impressive in the curved letters. The “PADEL & CLUB” type underneath could have been better integrated somehow, perhaps even just by being a bolder weight. The monogram for APC is lovely too with the dots of the “A” and the “C” neatly connecting with those of the “P” and its zig-saggy composition is quite refreshing.
A whole lot of yes to the numerals — they would make excellent house number signs punched out of metal or something — which would also make it tempting to create a full uppercase alphabet in the style but I sort of like that it’s limited to the logo and the numbers, as it could be too much of a good thing otherwise. A valiant effort on the slanted icons — they are good and correct but they start to look too cartoony with the slant that feels more exaggerated in these shapes.
Most applications are pretty straightforward, which makes sense given that the primary elements are so graphic to begin with that not a whole much else is needed. The business card is perhaps a little too dry… maybe a pop of the tennis-ball-green color would make it feel a little more fun. On the website and the water bottles there is a bold, extended, uppercase, italic sans in use that feels really awkward, like all of a sudden it’s an F1 racing event, so I’m not sure where that came from but worth putting it back there.
The signage is super nice as the wordmark, monogram, and numerals lend themselves so well to physical applications given that they can easily be stenciled on anything. Overall, this is a great identity for an establishment that could have easily had a more generic, forgettable sports club look instead of something as surprising and sophisticated as this.