SideStep is a meta search engine for travel: it searches and consolidates results from more than 200 travel websites. The site searches more than 150,000 hotels and 600 airlines in the United States and worldwide. The logo is slightly mysterious in the sense that it is made up a spherical icon with an upwards pointed arrow mark and an orange spot on the lower corner of the sphere. I can perhaps understand the upwards arrow to indicate travel, progress etc. But the orange spot eludes me. Perhaps it indicates either the origin or the destination of the traveler or the tourist.
Kayak.com is a travel search engine website based in the United States. Founded in 2004, it aggregates information from hundreds of other travel sites and helps users book flights, hotels, cruises, and rental cars. The logo shown here is a relatively new logo for Kayak.com. Previously it used to be an eye like shape (also similar to the outline of a kayak). This current logo looks more like airlines arrivals and destinations shown on the Arrivals/Departures board in airports.
LastMinuteTravel is a premier online website for providing last minute prices on a variety of travel products from its portfolio of 15,000 plus Undercover hotels in 1,500 major cities worldwide. The logo looks like it was put together in a hurry at the last minute (pun intended). It has a “clip art like logo” of a clock and an old fashioned (circa 2000) style of gradient and Photoshop drop shadow for its name.
Expedia is an Internet-based travel agency and a part of Expedia, Inc. based in the US with localized sites for 15 countries. It books airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages, and various attractions and services via the World Wide Web and telephone travel agents. Even though I am not too impressed by their offers, prices or service, I do like the logo. The Expedia.com logo is a web 2.0 style logo showing a glassy sphere representing the Earth and an (albeit clip art looking) icon of a plane swooping across the Earth. The plane has swoosh marks to give some movement to the logo and make it look dynamic.
TRAVEL.com claims to bring together in one place a lot of the top booking engines worldwide, companies that wish to compete head-to-head for your business, providing the greatest array of travel products available. Yet again a very disappointing online travel logo with a sphere to represent the Earth and a couple of planetary ring like swooshes encircling the globe. This logo reminds me very much of the logos from around 1990. The worst part of the company name. From what I see on their website, the font used for the name is so common, it makes me feel sick.
Travelocity is a leading provider of consumer-direct travel services for the leisure and business traveler. It markets and distributes travel-related products and services directly to individuals through Travelocity and its various brand Web sites and contact centers, and Web sites owned by its supplier and distribution partners. I do not get this logo. Paris-based Desgrippes Gobe, Travelocity’s branding agency, dubs the stars as the “guiding stars” and says that stars are the traveler’s natural compass.
Hotwire is a discount travel website that offers low prices on airfare, hotel, rental cars, and vacation packages by selling off unsold travel inventory at a discounted price. The logo shows the name HotWire in a simple and common font with an icon inside the “O” depicting a small icon of an airplane on the red background.
TripAdvisor.com is a free travel guide and research website that assists customers in gathering travel information, posting opinions of travel related issues and engaging in interactive travel forums. I am a big fan of this site and have myself contributed a few photos of the places I had visited. The logo shows an icon of an owl like image with just the eyes and the beak. The eyes also look like binoculars and the owl represents knowledge, since the site reviews places and more.
ebookers.com is an online travel company based out of the UK and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Travelport, the former travel arm of Cendant which was bought in October 2006 by an affiliate of Blackstone Partners. The logo shown here is an older version of the eBookers.com logo. The new one is actually not a logo (in the traditional sense and is just a common font of the company name). The older logo shows the name eBookers.com with the two “o”s joining together and forming the base of a thought bubble. I am not sure what the intention behind that was and perhaps that is why it has been replaced.
Don’t be put off by the name. This is a great website for learning about 45 low-fare carriers in Europe. However, FlyCheapo only shows you who flies where; for prices and schedules, you’ll have to visit the airlines’ own sites. The FlyCheapo.com logo is nothing to get excited about. It has the icon of airplane (at least partial visibility of the front and the back wings) which is cut off at the wing level to resemble a shark fin like image popping out of the water. The thin font used for the brand name does not help either.
Elements of Successful Online Travel Website Logos
If you have a travel related business, you need a travel logo that draws customers in. You are not just selling plane tickets or hotel rooms; you are selling a fantasy of faraway places and relaxing moments with loved ones. Because most travel companies are selling this mixture of escape and relaxation, there are a few common themes you will see in a online travel website logo and other media related to this industry.
One common theme you will see in online travel website logo design is bold, highly legible text. Many companies also use all capital letters. This makes the name easier to read, even from a distance, and also makes it seem more authoritative. People want their travel company to be in charge, so an online travel website logo that expresses this attitude will be more successful.
Graphic designers have to be very careful using globes, compasses, airplanes, and other travel related objects in their online travel website logo and ad design. These icons have been used to the point of overuse. The only way one of these objects can make an effective logo is if it is somehow changed to appear new and fresh again. Because that can be difficult to do, many travel companies have turned to logos that are entirely abstract. This makes the company seem more cutting edge and avoids being too obvious. However, with the right infusion of originality, a travel object can certainly replace the abstract graphics that have taken over the field of online travel website logo.
Location-Specific Color Scheme
The color scheme of a online travel website logo will usually reflect the location being advertised. If you have a travel agency specializing in tropical vacations, the color palate will be bold and splashy. If the company focuses on Asian travel, colors such as red and gold are a more obvious choice. Blue and green are both relaxing colors for a company that offers less exotic vacations or one that covers many different locales. There is no set color choice for a online travel website logo, so you and your designer are free to choose the one that suits you and your destination the best.
There are a lot of travel options, so a company that wants to be successful must work to set itself apart from the competition. For this reason, travel brochures and ads tend to be the most innovative and unusual in the world of graphic design. Unique brochure design and eye-catching ad design dominate the field.
A Word of Warning
Because the average travel logo tends to follow this set of rules, it is easy for a logo to be so unremarkable that it fades out of notice. However, a logo like this is worse than no logo at all. A travel logo that is boring or clichéd will not make customers want to trust their hard earned vacation time to your company. It will not build the brand recognition that your company needs to compete in an era when anyone can make reservations themselves on the internet. A online travel website logo is not just a pretty picture for your signs. Rather, it is a representation of your company and the type of services you offer. An original online travel website logo, a winning ad design and a unique brochure design are all selling more than a trip; they are selling a fantasy.