The best tourist board logos

The best tourist board logos

Tourist boards hold a crucial function in enticing travelers to explore a destination. They strive to generate buzz through creative campaigns featuring the latest festivals, bars, or collaborations with notable personalities. A compelling logo acts as the cornerstone for these marketing efforts. This visual symbol needs to capture the essence of the destination and sports a contemporary vibe. Such logos find their way onto various promotional items, from ordinary pens and USB drives to eye-catching t-shirts and wall posters.

Some logos capture the zeitgeist of the era in which they are introduced. They could exude the ambiance of a specific decade, such as the 1980s, and may or may not age well. Contrarily, some logos have an enduring appeal, as evidenced by those representing New York and Rotterdam. These have stood the test of time and continue to entice visitors year after year.

Criteria for choosing remarkable tourist board logos include customization to reflect the unique qualities of the destination, a touch of originality, and versatile design appeal. Such logos should look equally stunning whether displayed on small keepsakes like keyrings or magnified on large billboards. The talent behind these designs varies; they don’t necessarily have to be crafted by top-tier designers to be effective. A well-designed logo serves as both an invitation and a brand ambassador, setting the stage for an unforgettable travel experience.

Belize Tourist Board

Belize Tourist Board Logo

Belize’s national branding navigates a unique space through its creative use of color and typography, courtesy of Studio MPLS. The design presents a vivid rainbow spectrum and details inspired by nature, a significant draw for tourism in the country. One notices the unique usage of curved serifs at the top of each letterform, along with a particular slant in the first stroke of the letter’ e.’ These rounded design elements are not accidental but mirror the natural curves commonly found in Belize’s wildlife and cultural elements.

The logo takes this nature-inspired aesthetic further by featuring a toucan on the letter’ z.’ This choice is not merely ornamental; it adds a distinct character to the word without affecting legibility. Like its Colombian counterpart, Belize’s logo features interchangeable icons for various regions, each associated with specific color palettes. For instance, one can find a lighthouse symbolizing the Central Coast and a tropical fish representing the reef.

The text within the logo exudes a slightly aged quality, evident from small streaks that allow the background to be visible. This touch gives the logo a rustic, almost weather-beaten look, resonant with the sort of eco-friendly, adventure-based tourism Belize is known for. These subtleties nod toward a design philosophy that aims to encapsulate the country’s natural richness. It captures the rugged, unfiltered beauty often associated with Belize’s diverse ecosystems, from jungles to rainforests.

In crafting this brand identity, attention was paid to various aspects of Belizean culture and natural scenery. Even the worn streaks in the lettering echo what one of the designers described as the ‘hand-painted weathered signs’ commonly seen in the area. The logo doesn’t merely function as a visual identifier but as a condensed narrative of what Belize represents—a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Brand Colombia

Brand Colombia in Logo

Revamping the image of a nation plagued by political challenges presents a daunting task, yet Brand Colombia appears to have tackled this issue head-on through design. Launched in 2012, the campaign aimed to bolster both tourism and business. The logo emerged as a collaborative effort between Colombian firms Sancho BBDO and Señor López, with JWT as an advertising partner.

Claudia Hoyos of Marca País Colombia states that the nation’s abundant diversity is its primary strength. This diversity spans regions, cultures, accents, dialects, weather patterns, etc. This concept is evident in the logo’s multiple color variations. For instance, the violet symbolizes Colombia’s abundant flora, specifically its national flower, the orchid. Various regions and cultural themes find representation through straightforward geometric shapes, such as drums denoting the country’s musical heritage.

The decision to abbreviate Colombia to ‘CO’ in the logo serves a dual purpose. Not only does it economize space, but it also employs the ISO country code for Colombia, which is universally recognized. This particular choice, it should be noted, sparked a range of opinions. Travel industry portal Skift voiced concerns, suggesting that the new identity seemed scattered and unfocused.

The initiative by Brand Colombia aptly tries to encapsulate a multifaceted nation through design. The logo is a vivid canvas to capture the nation’s rich cultural, geographical, and ecological diversity. While some critics argue that the design might be too complex or unfocused, it’s worth noting that designing a logo to represent a country as diverse as Colombia is no small feat. The diversity encompassed by the logo reflects the nuances and complexities inherent in a nation attempting to redefine itself in the eyes of the world.

City of Rotterdam (Holland)

City of Rotterdam (Holland) Logo

The Rotterdam logo’s vivid depiction of a river cutting through the letter ‘R’ is an apt visual encapsulation of the city’s geographical and cultural relationship with water. First introduced in 1999, this design has remained unchanged despite occasional calls for its replacement, such as in 2017 when politician Sven de Langen advocated switching back to the city’s original coat of arms and its motto, ‘Strong through struggle.’ Modern design enthusiasts have welcomed the design choice to keep the logo.

The logo’s color scheme and layout visually reflect a thoughtfully crafted balance. A drop shadow has been added to the lettering, rendered in the same dark blue hue as the depicted water, which brings depth to what would otherwise be a flat, two-dimensional logo. This nuanced design decision enhances the green color of the letter ‘R,’ making it stand out prominently.

Beyond just aesthetics, the water theme holds practical relevance for Rotterdam. The city is home to Europe’s largest port, making water crucial to its economic prosperity. It is a bustling trade hub, facilitating exchanges between various global markets.

But it’s not just about commerce. Rotterdam is part of a nation deeply committed to environmental sustainability. Among its many eco-friendly initiatives is a self-sustainable floating farm, which houses a herd of dairy cows and has garnered international media attention. The city is also the focus of the exhibition “Water Cities Rotterdam,” a collaborative effort between the Nieuwe Instituut and architecture firm NLÉ. These undertakings underscore the essential role of water in the lives of the city’s residents.

Contrary to mere artistic whimsy, the placement of the logo’s lettering within the river image, instead of floating above it, sends a clear message: water is intricately woven into the city’s economic, environmental, and social fabric. It’s far more than a design element; it represents Rotterdam’s unique identity and complex relationship with one of nature’s most vital resources. This makes the logo not just a piece of graphic art but an effective instrument for capturing and conveying the city’s essence.

Experience Bengal (India)

Experience Bengal (India) Logo

The Bengal logo brings a vivid splash of color that distinguishes it from other state or region-specific designs, including that of Belize. Despite the geographical distance, the two might share some aesthetic similarities, but Bengal’s emblem has particular nuances that set it apart. The logo uses a multi-color palette reminiscent of a color wheel and is designed to reflect the vibrant culture and natural beauty of the Indian state. Each letter in the wordmark contains a spectrum of fragmented colors, adding a dynamic layer to the design.

The physical structure of the letters in Bengal’s logo also demonstrates creative ingenuity. The descending arcs of the ‘n,’ ‘a,’ and ‘l’ break away from the baseline, adding visual interest and transforming what could have been a monotonous straight line into an engaging feature. This deviation lends an innovative touch, elevating the overall composition.

The choice of bright and fragmented colors is a fitting representation of West Bengal’s kaleidoscope of landscapes and cultural features. The state is home to a range of natural elements, from the reddish soil found in parts to the striking contrast between tea plantations and the grandeur of the Himalayas. West Bengal boasts unique weaving styles visible in its traditional saris and a rich art history, including the Bengal School of Art in the early 1900s and the ancient Patachitra painting style.

Regarding the gastronomic scene, Bengal doesn’t lag in colors or flavors. With a tagline proclaiming it as ‘the sweetest part of India,’ Bengal offers an array of desserts that can tickle any palate. Specialties such as amriti—spiral shapes of sweet dough fried in clarified butter—add to the state’s colorful persona.

Bengal’s logo is more than just an eye-catching emblem; it encapsulates the multi-faceted richness of the state’s culture, history, and natural beauty. This intricate design not only carves out Bengal’s unique identity but also positions it strongly against competing states or regions, making it an effective piece of branding.

New York Board of Tourism (USA)

New York Board of Tourism (USA) Logo

Milton Glaser’s iconic design for New York stands as a unique case where the logo became a cultural emblem, transcending traditional logo requirements. The design does not explicitly convey attributes of the city, its skyline, or even its widely recognized nickname, the “Big Apple.” Instead, it focuses on an emotional connection encapsulated in a simple red heart. The design, created in red pencil in 1976, has become so iconic that the original sketch is now housed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The American Typewriter font with its rounded slab serifs adds to the logo’s casual tone, apt for a city known for its hustle and vitality.

After the tragic events 9/11, the emblem underwent a subtle but poignant transformation. Glaser adapted the design to include the phrase “I [heart] NY more than ever,” accompanied by a subtle scorch mark on one side of the heart. This amended design serves as a potent reminder of New York’s resilience and is displayed at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

After Glaser’s passing in 2020, the logo was again subject to alteration. This time, it was Graham Clifford Design who took on the task. The result was a logo reading “We [heart] NY,” which faced criticism for its 3D heart design and thick sans-serif lettering. Many viewed it as a deviation from Glaser’s timeless simplicity. The update lacked the straightforward elegance and emotional resonance that made the original design a global phenomenon.

The New York logo has seen multiple phases. It started as a modest sketch and ascended to an international symbol, then transformed as a tribute to resilience, and most recently was subject to controversial redesign. Each phase of its evolution tells a story about New York and its people, illustrating the power of design to capture the essence of a place and the emotional ties that bind its inhabitants.


PROMPERU (Peru) Logo

Renowned for its rich archaeological history, this South American nation offers iconic sites such as Machu Picchu, the enigmatic Nazca lines, Moray’s circular Incan terraces, and Cusco’s Temple of the Sun. Given this context, the choice of a hand-drawn wordmark for the country’s tourism logo, in use since 2011, seems apt. Created by Futurebrand, the logo is geared toward both tourism and trade. A striking element in the design is the circular pattern on the letter’ P,’ which evokes images of fossils or even the curvature of a clay pot, each hinting at the ancient and creative spirit of the country.

While the nation also gains attention for its burgeoning culinary scene — famous for dishes like ceviche and Pisco sours — understandably, these elements are absent from the logo. Such features could present difficulties, especially when catering to various dietary preferences, such as veganism. Sticking to the archaeological theme provides a unifying and iconic representation that aligns well with the nation’s global reputation.

This focus on archaeology in the logo is particularly clever, given that it not only resonates with the historic aura of the nation but also holds universal appeal. Archaeology speaks to the human quest for understanding the past, a theme likely to attract a broad audience, from history buffs to casual travelers. The logo, therefore, serves multiple functions: an identifier, a marketing tool, and a symbolic encapsulation of what the nation has to offer.

Tourism Fiji

Tourism Fiji Logo

The recently revamped Fiji logo starkly contrasts its 2013 version, which suffered from being overly simple and easily forgettable, complete with an uninspiring tagline. The refreshed design comes from Host/Havas, an Australian creative agency, and diverges dramatically by incorporating elements of Fijian culture. Traditional patterns from Masi fabric, an indigenous Fijian textile, are repeated across the new logo. Each motif on the logo represents a unique aspect of the Fijian social structure, be it a village, a family unit, or an entire community.

The chosen color palette is another distinguishing feature. The deep and rich hue of Prussian blue distinguishes the logo from the many blues commonly employed in travel and tourism branding. The color adds aesthetic value and imbues the logo with depth and richness, differentiating it from many counterparts in the tourism industry. Wati Maraiwai Talavutu, a reputable Masi artist, is credited with crafting these visually appealing designs.

Fiji Airways, the country’s national airline, made a similar cultural pivot in 2012, shedding its former name, Air Pacific. For this rebranding, another Masi artist, Makereta Matmosi, was commissioned to infuse local art into the company’s corporate identity. These endeavors go beyond mere aesthetic choices; they act as a homage to Fiji’s rich cultural fabric. Including indigenous artistry in national and airline logos serves a dual purpose: distinguishing the brand. It pays respect to local culture, thus enhancing its appeal and relevance.

Turespaña (Spain)

Turespana (Spain) Logo

The Turespaña logo offers an intriguing case study in brand identity, emanating from a specific cultural and temporal context. Created in 1983, Spain tapped into the talents of renowned artist Joan Miró for its design. This choice underscores the country’s rich artistic legacy, which includes luminaries like Picasso, Velazquez, and Dali. Artistic tourism forms a significant facet of Spain’s allure, and Miró’s involvement added an extra layer of prestige.

Though health issues prevented Miró from creating an entirely new design, he opted for a collage approach, combining elements from his previous works. The result, The Sun of Miró, debuted in 1984 and has remained in use. The design incorporates the red and yellow hues of the Spanish flag, aligning it with national identity. The sun symbol resonates well with Spain’s Mediterranean climate, adding another layer of contextual relevance.

The sun and star elements were repurposed from an earlier poster created for an art museum in France. This reuse of elements adds a layer of international artistic recycling, so to speak, to the brand’s history.

While some might argue that the logo’s aesthetics are rooted in the era of its creation, its historical and artistic weight cannot be ignored. The choice to involve a leading artist in creating a national tourism logo is a testament to Spain’s value of art as part of its global image. Despite the passage of time and changing design trends, The Sun of Miró remains a symbol deeply entwined with Spain’s cultural, artistic, and national narrative. It continues to attract attention, adding a layer of artistic gravitas to Spain’s touristic appeal.