Marketing and logo design are important for all businesses—including the business of theme parks and amusement rides. More and more roller coasters are using logos as way of promoting themselves to amusement park-goers looking for the latest rush. These logos belong to a unique genre, because they must by nature be flashy and over-designed, in keeping with the ‘product’ they are representing.
Skyrush is the latest ride to get on the logo design roller coaster. This new thrill ride will debut in 2012 at Hersheypark. The roller coaster features a 200 foot climb followed by a similarly large drop, taking riders back to sea level at speeds up to 75 miles per hour. The descent is almost perpendicular at 85 degrees. There are several rises and drops with steeply banked curves and general craziness. The Skyrush will open as the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world and also feature winged seats—that is, with no floor below the terrified passengers.
The logo design for this ride needs to be as over-the-top as the experience. However, when I searched for other roller coaster logos to compare the Skyrush logo design with, I was surprised at the results. Most roller coaster logos simply are not that good. They lack some of the elements of basic design and seem to be marketed at people too young to ride them, rather than the marketing-savvy young adults who seem to be filling the lines outside the rides.
Within this perspective, the Skyrush logo design is looking better and better. It features track looped around wildly in the background. The name is written in slightly angled letters filling a stretched banner across the front. The feeling is of movement and pushing limits. The letters even feature lines that promote the feeling of speed. While the roller coaster does not to our knowledge include loops, the logo nonetheless gives the right feeling without resorting to clichés.
If I had to pick a single issue with this logo, it would be the color. The calming, serene blue was probably chosen because it references the sky, but it is the absolute wrong choice for this logo. A roller coaster logo design requires a bolder, more aggressive color, perhaps red or even a youthful orange. I suspect that the coaster itself is going to be blue, but even so, the wording and stretched banner would look better in another color choice. The font works, but it feels a little off, like that of a minor league (or little league) sports team.
This logo is a good example of how design varies with the industry. It would be too much, a complete eyesore, for any other type of business. We see logos like this every day and shake our heads sadly. In this case, however, the logo is just perfect. If anything, it needs to be bolder and more in-your-face, with attention-grabbing colors that set the right emotional tone for the ride.