For most, the thought of a ping pong table probably conjures an image of some dingy thing in a rec room or frat house basement, likely flimsy and coated in a sticky film of PBR. But a British table tennis initiative called the Art of Ping Pong has reclaimed the game's design from those dismal associations since their launch in 2013, celebrating the sport and raising funds for worthy causes through events, collaborations, and charity exhibitions.
For the Art of Ping Pong’s latest endeavor, they've partnered with London-based brand consultancy Campbell Hay to put on a new table tennis installation in London’s Islington Square. With design lead Wai Ming Ng running point on the project, they developed eight bespoke tables with the theme of “opposing states” driving the design concepts.
The ping pong table form presented a fertile blank canvas on which Ng and his team could freely create, given its large, flat expanse of wood, unimpeded by any restrictions. Each of the eight distinctive designs is imbued with bright and frenetic energy, complimented by the typeface Coign by Colophon Foundry, chosen for its malleability and condensed letterforms.
Ng and the team ultimately developed a digital side of the activation to add another dimension to the concept through animations. Doing so seemed like the logical next step for the project, seeing as Ng had already been visualizing the motion of the ping pong ball while ideating the original static designs.
This installation has essentially rebranded the game of ping pong entirely, recontextualizing those beer pong horrors of yore as typographic works of art.