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LogoLounge 2 by Catharine Fishel, Bill Gardener

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In many crowded product categories, strong branding is the differentiator,
leading consumers to prefer one product over another—especially when
so many of the product attributes and claims are perceived to be identical.
This belief is well understood in commodity categories such as beverages,
cereal, or other common household goods, but could it also be true with
such a considered, emotional, and expensive consumer choice as the des-
tination for a tropical vacation?
That was precisely the case when Duffy & Partners began to work with the
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. The island nation was competing for tourism
dollars with branding and communication that was virtually identical in
imagery and messages as its competitors. As a result, consumers con-
cluded the Bahamas were interchangeable with other warm-weather des-
tinations such as Jamaica, Mexico, or many other Caribbean islands. And
although the Bahamas does offer the tantalizing promise of a sensory, emo-
tional, and physical vacation, they are perceived to be a “stereotypical par-
adise.” The challenge for the ministry: How could they differentiate the
islands as the preferred vacation destination?
“As you can imagine, in this category, there is a sea of sameness among
all sand and sea destinations—tropical colors, water, sun, palm trees,” says
Joe Duffy, chairman of Duffy & Partners. “With our client’s previous
approach, you could have pulled out the name ‘Bahamas’ and substituted
‘Jamaica’ or ‘Barbados,’ and the identity would have worked just as well.
It was not unique or grounded in any differentiated truth that makes the
Bahamas a unique destination.”
Contributing to the ministry’s challenge was that although the Bahamas
had an existing identity, it had never been used consistently. Essentially,
the previous brand identity was just a tagline, “The Islands of the Bahamas:
It Just Keeps Getting Better”—undistinguished at best. And it was applied
in hundreds of different ways, with different typefaces and colors, driven by
different constituencies with different needs.
Design Firm
Client
Project
Duffy & Partners
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Identity Design
The new logo and brand identity for the islands of the
Bahamas—a clever maplike representation of the arrangement
of main destination islands, and a pattern that can be repur-
posed on everything from T-shirts to websites—is fresh and
bright, like the place itself. The mark distinguishes the Bahamas
as not a single destination but many.
“It quickly became clear that everyone from the
tourism office to souvenir manufacturers would
have to be able to work with the new design.”
Less than inspiring, the Bahamas’ old logo didn’t say “tropical,”
much less “unique” or even “fun.”
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Job no:82185(CTP) Title : RP-Logolounge 2 Client : Pro-vision
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175 Size : 228.6(w)279.4(h)mm Co : M6 C0 O/P: CTP
Dept : DTP D/O : 27.08.04 (Job no:000000 D/O : 00.00.01 Co: CM0)
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They determined the best solution was to create not just a logo but a more fluid brand expression of
the actual geographic positioning of the islands of the Bahamas on a map.
Building off flower shapes and other organic forms, the Duffy design team began to experiment with different ways to express that
the Bahamas was not one destination, but many. The concept of using geography as a design element emerged here, through
different shapes.
LL2 020-031/M6 27/8/04 10:14 AM Page 27

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