Tourism is important of any country’s economy. Branding and logo design are crucial to enticing new vacationers and building a reputation as a great place to visit. That’s why it is so surprising that the United States is, well, getting our backsides handed to us when it comes to national tourism logo design and branding.
What does out official tourism logo design say about our nation. First and foremost, that we are, well, the United States. There are colors and shapes reminiscent of the national flag and a rather generic circle that is supposed to balance the official feeling of the traditional lettering with serifs. This logo feels more like an official seal for some little-used government agency than a tourism logo. It’s patriotic, but overly so; after all, a tourism logo should relate to visitors rather than citizens.
For comparison, consider the new logo design of Peru. A bold spiral relates to the patterns seen in the indigenous designs and architecture that are a major draw for many visitors. The font is completely unique and carries a mixture of artistry and indigenous charm. The color is warm and inviting. This logo makes you want to visit Peru, even if the idea had never occurred to you before.
That’s what a tourism logo is supposed to do.
Okay, it’s easy for Peru to have a better logo, it could be argued. They have all that South American charm and a substantial history to draw on. Consider, then, the tourism logo design from a country more like ours, like France. Like the American design, France official tourism uses the colors of the national flag. However, the France Chic logo design is also interesting, artistic, unique to the country and more than a little romantic. When you look at it, you immediately understand a few good reasons to visit the European nation.
If you need a North American example, consider the logo design of our neighbor to the south. Mexico’s tourism logo may not be as exotic as that of France or Peru, but it is still a solid design. The mix of upper and lower cases combined with the bright color palette set the right tone. Designs with Latin flair within the lettering relate to the country’s history while maintaining the bright, open feeling. This logo design does not say a whole lot about the nation, but it definitely piques interest.
Egypt, Spain, the Bahamas… it is not difficult to think of a nation with a tourism logo design worse than ours. However, even our insignificant little logo is a huge improvement. The United States puts very little cash or energy into marketing our country as a place to visit. Our logo is a mess, our tourism website is a mess, and our tourism industry is generally left without the government leadership or support that is needed to truly move forward. We may not be losing a huge amount of money to Australia or India or any one of the many countries with well-run tourism programs—not yet, that is. However, with marketing becoming a bigger part of why people make the choices that they make (not to mention that tourism is a $120 billion per year industry), we can’t afford to neglect the issue any longer.