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Discussions around what drives people to choose where they go and building integrated marketing programs to attract them — using the internet, social networks, direct marketing and mass media.
The 2012 London Olympics logo has been controversial since it's inception - starting with the rather cool acceptance from the design community, even though it was designed by well-known London based agency Wolff Olins. Truthfully both the 2012 and the 2014 Olympics Logos are not the best we have seen in recent years. So much so that I had my Design for Brand Identity class at Rensselaer take these on as redesign projects last spring with some great success, but I digress. [more]
I know this brand isn’t specific to travel and tourism, but it is a testament to how strong a brand is. I thought this compelling and worth noting, and since I haven’t written in awhile I thought I’d share. [more]
An interview with Sara Tack was recently featured on the AIGA Upstate New York web site. Tack discusses challenges faced by women designers, and offers advice to young people entering the graphic design business... [more]
An interview with Sara Tack was recently featured on the AIGA Upstate New York web site. Tack discusses her career, the decision to start a business, her sources of inspirations, challenges faced by women designers, and offers advice to young people entering the graphic design business. Part one... [more]
Beautiful white sand beaches, crystal blue water, mountain views and intense sunsets – Would you associate these alluring descriptions with the deserts of North Africa? Well, surprise, and welcome to the ‘other Egypt.’
New travel identity reveals destination’s hidden beauty
In an effort to expand its tourism business beyond the pyramids and ancient ruins, Egypt has introduced a new identity for its travel marketing. The new logo hints at another side of Egypt including its little known beach culture. Yes, Egypt has beautiful white sand beaches. Not on the Mediterranean as you might expect, but along the shores of the Red Sea, the Sinai Peninsula and the Gulf of Aqaba. The brilliant blue waters of Egypt’s east coast are a far cry from the muddy Nile River, and seeing the moon rise over the mountains of Saudi Arabia across the Red Sea from Nuweiba is one experience I will never forget.
Now, has this little geography lesson changed your opinion of Egypt’s new logo? How many of you were thinking that the color blue just doesn’t make sense for this arid country? Or were you questioning why they didn’t use any reference to mummies, a pharaoh, the sphinx, or the pyramids? A pyramid is such a great shape to own – and what other country could better capitalize on that than Egypt?
This new identity is not about the core experience we associate with Eqypt; they already own that market share. It’s about getting people to come back to Eqypt, to do something else there, or to divide a two-week vacation between touring cultural sites and relaxing on the beach. It’s about attracting people who are more interested in warm, sunny weather and beautiful beaches than history. Egypt as a beach destination? Depending on where you live in the world, it could be a viable alternative to the Caribbean, and this identity is designed to make you think twice about it.
Let’s see if the logo’s structure measures up
The shape of the word mark is not necessarily the strongest, but overall it has a nice form unusually balanced by so many descenders. It could be bettered rendered though, as some of the letters are a bit sloppy and too ragged. Case in point is the descender on the ‘y’ as it separates the stroke unnecessarily. The logo is not as choppy when it’s reduced, but is problematic at larger sizes. The ‘e’ could be a bit larger and wider to help balance the powerful ‘t’ which demands a lot of attention as it doubles for the ankh symbol.
Some of the people I queried felt that the ‘e’ looked too much like a ‘c’ and were concerned we would read ‘cgypt’. I would argue that not to be the case, as our brains will find a way to make sense out of this word. Studies have shown people can read and understand a paragraph of text without vowels because our brain is wired to create and anticipate the meaning. And let’s not forget that the logo will rarely ever stand alone out of the context of a brand message. For all those naysayers, look at the Lord & Taylor logo and tell me if you can actually read the letterforms clearly and whether or not it matters for recognizing this logo.
An unexpected use of color
I love the blue. It’s gutsy. It’s everything we wouldn’t expect. It beckons the question ‘why blue?’ which is exactly what you want people to find out. I’m not fond of the drippy texture inside the strokes -also too sloppy. As is the case of the shape, the color is more fluid when the mark is reduced. There has to be a better balance between the energy rendered from the immediacy of the brush stroke and a determined mark no matter what the size of the image.
A word about the logo’s content and style
It’s a wordmark or logotype, so we have to talk about its style. The hand done, non-computer generated font is a refreshing change. It hints at hieroglyphics and arabic script in a modern context while simultaneously hinting at the age of the culture without resorting to cliche typefaces like Papyrus or Trajan.
The tag line, ‘where it all begins’ has a nice double entendre message, but it looks terrible. The font style renders the letterforms too wide, so even though they are a light weight they feel clunky and childish. The paint splatter above the ‘i’ isn’t helping either. There is a fine line between playful sophistication and looking silly and trite. I believe the tag is set in Skia. Even if they kept the font, set it smaller and kerned out the letter spacing, it would have more cachet. The tag line design needs a quiet elegance for these words to resonate.
Logo as part of a bigger travel and tourism campaign
The logo was designed by JWT in Cairo. The ad campaign tries too hard to make Egypt everything-to-all-people and has a glitzy Vegas-like style. However, the TV spot is done fairly well and delivers the message of a core experience that few destinations can compete with. I can't say that the new logo delivers on just how stunning the 'other Eqypt' is, but at least it gets us thinking there might be more to this destination than our narrow view.
On the logometer of one to ten, I give Egypt’s new identity a 5. What do you think?Related Content:If you like logo and identity reviews, you might want to check out Sara's Before and After reviews of Expedia's and Killington’s new logos.
Expedia books a new plane
Travel broker Expedia recently introduced a new logo and corporate identity. According to the Seattle Times, Paul Leonard, VP of brand marketing at Bellevue-based Expedia, described the new look as "less cartoonish.” “We were striving for a more timeless and classic aesthetic," Leonard said. "It's a little less whimsical and more sophisticated."
Were they successful?
Let’s begin with a discussion about the logo itself – the new plane and globe. Are the new elements timeless, or of mixed decades? Classic or just boring? A little less whimsical, or with no whimsy at all? Sophisticated or generic?
The old plane had character, a voice and a personality, If you didn’t like the whimsical, somewhat cartoony illustration style of the yellow plane, you at least knew whose plane it was – Expedia’s. Cover up the name on the new logo and tell me you can’t think of a few possibilities of whose logo this could be.
The new icon is trying to appear dimensional, but it ends up looking flat; a result of the white plane bleeding both edges of the circle, the loss of perspective, and a poorly rendered gradient. The monochromatic palette isn’t helping it either. However, since I mentioned color, I’d like to understand why they changed the tonality of the text colors. The new text appears to be a different blue than the logo, but the colors are so close that it looks like a mistake.
The wordmark has some strange typographical configurations, too.
The strokes of the ‘x’ are unequal in width. The dot above the ‘i’ looks lopsided. I’m not against fonts that push the norm, but if the goal was a more timeless and classic aesthetic, this font is too contemporary to meet those requirements. The tag line typography is a common, boring, hand-writing font that doesn’t ‘speak.’ The two font styles do not mix well, and as a result, the tag line looks stuck on.
The scale of the wordmark in comparison to the logo is now much larger and the cap height is higher compared to the x-height. These typographical nuances make the wordmark appear more important than the symbol rather than balancing our read. The tag line looks forced up under the ‘p’ and because it is centered with a period, it looks unbalanced.
The new Expedia logo gets a thumbs down from me, and on the logometer scale of one to ten, I’ll give it a one. What do you think?Related Content: If you're interested in logo reviews and design issues, check out the Killington "Before and After" logo review here.
Having worked with many ski resorts I thought it apropos that I review Killington’s new face lift. Sorry I can’t resist the puns, but I’ll get serious.
We’ll start with shape. The shield is a rise above the old rectangle. Shields are emblematic. They act as a heraldic devise - a distinctive badge - for a nation, organization or family. Most Killington skiers are die-hard fans so they’ll love the badge concept and the badge. I suspect we’ll see some actual patches on jackets this coming season.
While the old logo had a version in the positive, with a black wordmark, we mostly saw this heavy, dark, blue rectangle with the reversed type. The new palette is reminiscent of a bright, sunny day on the slopes with gleaming white snow. But look again and you’ll also see the industry-wide color reference for trail terrain - green for easy, blue for more difficult and black for expert. While many ski resorts use this nomenclature in their logos it tends to look trite. But not here, because what you see is not the only thing you get. The colors create a three- dimensional mountain peak and if you turn the logo sideways you’ll notice that the big Killington “K” is still there.
Talk about packed powder, this symbol is packing it in.
I could have done without the script typeface or at least this particular script. Its use could be a nod to Beaver Creek, symbolizing they can compete with the Colorado slope, who also sports a script. Killington’s script is a little retro, due to its weight, but it falls short. I can’t decide if it is cool or if it looks like a wedding invitation font. That’s the problem with using scripts. It’s hard to get away from that cultural association.
All in all this is a big improvement. A thumbs up from me and on the logometer of one to ten I’ll give it an 8.5.
What do you think?
Earlier this week, I took a 562 mile road trip by car. I had to drive my daughter, who is college hunting - to Geneseo, NY, then to Cornell in Ithaca, NY, and then back home to Troy, NY. All of this took place in a 36 hour or so period. Needless to say it was tiring, but here is a story about a very strange, but neat interaction on my trip.
We left Troy, NY at 7pm on Tuesday night.
Geneseo is a good 4 - 4.5 hour trip. On Sunday night I searched for Geneseo hotels online related to how far they were from the college. I looked at the Quality Inn and a B&B, the Oak Valley Inn, because they were only a mile from the campus. After researching their prices, Oak Valley Inn was less expensive and seemed more interesting. My husband encouraged me to stay in the interesting place.
I called and spoke to Marilyn Hollis, one of the owners. I was able to choose the room I wanted to stay in based on the pictures on the website. Upon telling Marilyn that I would probably not arrive before 11:30pm, she said they would be fast asleep and gave me instructions on where to find a key and also stated a note would be left for me on the front door with these instructions.
After inquiring what time we would be getting up in the morning, she said they would be long gone, but breakfast would be waiting for me in their dining room and a note would be left with instructions on how to check out. She also informed me that at this time of year, in the middle of the week, that I was the only person staying at the inn. A little creepy feeling, but I went with it. I gave her my credit card over the phone and she sent me a confirmation email.
We arrived Tuesday evening at Oak Hill Inn at 11:45pm.
The note with my name hand written on the envelope was left on the front door. We got the hidden key, let ourselves in to find another note on the banister with a key in the envelope to our room. The room was lovely. I especially appreciated the simple stenciling on the smooth plaster walls. The mattress was a bit uncomfortable and the TV had terrible reception for cable, but the place was very quaint.
The next morning we went downstairs to find a large assortment of cereals, breads, yogurts, fruits, jams, etc laid out for us for breakfast. Coffee was brewed, and hot water was in an urn. The dining room walls had been painted by an artist with a folk art style scene, apropos for the age of the building and nicely done.
The note on the buffet table stated that after we were done to please turn off the coffee, sign the the paper work waiting for me in the envelope on the table and instructions on where to leave the key after we left. We had a lovely breakfast in this old mansion all to ourselves. We followed the instructions before leaving, left our dishes on the table, signed the guest book and made sure we closed the door tightly behind us so it locked.
We never met Marilyn Hollis or saw anyone associated with the Oak Hill Inn during our entire stay.