Destination Texas

By Mash Bonigala

Tyler, Texas is a small town of less than 100,000 people. However, it is somewhat of a popular tourist destination in its area. It is quaint and beautiful (I am told), known in Texas as ‘the Rose Capital’. This idea was expressed in its destination logo design.

The old Texas logo design featured the name of the city in cursive with a rose entwined in the swirling tail of the Y. The rose was yellow, referring to the folk song about the ‘Yellow Rose of Texas’. The writing was in purple, presumably to complement the color of the rose.

The logo design had a lot of good ideas behind the design, but it did not seem to work well. It simply was not a logo that invited me to visit the city. It apparently was not used much, because I could not even find it in decent resolution. To be fair, the old logo was 15 years old.

The new logo keeps many of the same elements, but in a more attractive way. The cursive is still present, although it has been updated. The rose is now red, set in a style that appears to be a wood block print or stamp. It is folksy and charming, but more modern. A tagline has been added as well, advertising Tyler as ‘a natural beauty’, which refers to the beautiful outdoors for which the area is known throughout Texas. The purple and yellow had to go, and they thankfully did.

The new logo design is definitely an improvement. It is more attractive and more modern, without losing any of the brand elements seen before. On the other hand, my key question remains unanswered: why should I visit Tyler, Texas?

Unfortunately, logo designing is not just about creating a pretty picture. If that was all there is to it, any artistically inclined teenager could play around in Photoshop and come up with something suitable. However, creating a great logo requires a mixture of design sense and branding sense. The designer has to have an innate feel for the market and understand how to visually address the customer. In this case, a professional logo designer would ask themselves: what am I trying to say here? The current logo tells people that they should visit this destination; a great one would tell them why they need to do so. It is a subtle difference that can make or break a logo, or even the company that it represents.

I feel no subconscious pull toward this area after viewing the logo. That, ultimately, will be the shortcoming inherent in this design. People should view a destination logo and feel two things: an awareness of the area, and a longing to experience it for themselves. In the first requirement, this logo design excels. In the second one, it falls flat.

Is your logo design telling customers why they should choose you over the competition? If not, it may be time for rebranding! The difference that design makes can be the difference that turns around your company.