London-based design consultancy Campbell Hay has collaborated with ping pong specialists Art of Ping Pong on a series of eight tables featuring colourful contrasting graphics and bold typography, to ‘capture the dynamic nature and signature moves of ping pong’.

Available for public play at London’s Islington Square, two of the tables are made of fibreglass reinforced polyester with polished steel legs and nets to make them suitable for long-term outdoor use. A further six, smaller ping pong tables made from laminated birch plywood are currently on display at The Gallery at Islington Square until September 2021. 

Arranged in a grid are several colourful ping pong tables with black and white graphics and type on bold monochromatic surfaces
Campbell Hay’s designs for the ping pong tables series

Each of the tables features bold typography and abstract geometric patterns on a bright palette of purple, white, green, pink, yellow and red. The designers played with the sport’s vocabulary and iconography, with distorted words such as bounce, smash and spin placed on each side of the tables in oversized type. 

‘The opportunity to use design and ping pong to bring people back together after the year of social distancing we’ve been through was such a unique one. We really wanted to see how far we could push the concept,’ says Campbell Hay creative director, Charlie Hay. With the use of Instagram filters, the tables are enhanced through augmented reality, their graphics boldly bouncing and coming to life on screen. 

A colourful ping pong table
A colourful ping pong table
The two larger ping pong tables available to play at Islington Square

On a mission to ‘celebrate the popularity and subculture of ping pong by colliding it with art and design,’ since 2013 Art of Ping Pong have created objects and tables in collaboration with the likes of Morag Myerscough, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Alan Kitching, Ryan Gander.

‘It was exciting and challenging as it’s not everyday that we get to design graphics for ping pong tables,’ says Wai Ming Ng, design lead at Campbell Hay ‘The addition of augmented reality brings the tables to life and captures the energy of ping pong.’ §