Unravel Iceland

A Tourism Branding Campaign Case Study

Brief

To create an engaging and impactful brand campaign that promotes tourism on the country/area and target audience selected.

Country selected: Iceland

Tools

Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, Principle, Invision

Research and Target Audience

Iceland is known for its diverse and dramatic landscapes. Since 2008, there has been a boom in tourism for the country as tourists seek the island to experience Mother Nature’s phenomenons- from the Aurora to the Blue Lagoon.

Design Problem:

As tourism rapidly grows with an average yearly growth rate of 9.3%, majority of the tourists stay within the capital, Reykjanes. These tourists neglect to explore the to the lesser known attractions in the country.

Chart from Ferdamalastofa “Tourism in Iceland Figures April 2015”.

Such is also proved through domain research of the other Iceland tourism sites. Most of these websites focus on the land. More specifically, they highlight the extreme activities (hiking, ice climbing, caving, etc) offered within those popular landscapes.

Design Opportunity:

From the research, I knew that my goal for the tourism campaign was to showcase the unknown areas of Iceland and what these areas have to offer other than the extreme activities.

Land of Story

Iceland is rich with history. From the origins of the Icelandic language to the sharp contrasting geography, Iceland presents itself as the “Land of Story”. Each of the landmarks are unique as it has a story of how it came to be. From the surface, we observe the beautiful and transfixed landscapes of the country however through further exploration, it is revealed that there is more than the beauty. There is a tale. These stories range from viking sagas, to folktales about elves, trolls and ghosts and how these beings are connected to the landmarks. The duality of the landmarks peaked my interest as other tourism sites lacked the aspect of “story”. This ultimately became the Unique Selling Point for the campaign.

Persona

So, who would this campaign be targeted towards?

Meet Dana…
-mid 20–30 yr old 
-adventure/thrill seeker
-travels often

When travelling, she …

  • stays away from populated tourist spots
  • is curious about the country’s history (history geek)
  • wants to fully experience what the country has to offer
  • is respectful of the culture and land
But, why would Dana specifically want to travel to Iceland? 
“She wants to discover the unknown. She wants to make the unknown known.”

Unravel Iceland Campaign

Through unraveling the unknown places of Iceland, Dana gains an experience that is unlike the usual. She experiences Mother Nature and its respectable historical origin tales.

Mood Boards

Mood boards #1 and #2.

For the art direction of the campaign, I wanted it to be eerie, mysterious, sophisticated enough to entice and peak the viewer’s curiosity.

The first mood board is heavily illustration based. The illustrations gives a pictorial story sensation with elements of flatness and layers. This art direction is more cooler toned as it is inspired by the glaciers and water.

The second mood board is photography focused with strong visual compositions. The images put the viewer in awe through the amazement of the mysterious landmarks. The violently striking images put the viewer in absolute awe as they yearn to experience more of the particular landmark.

Colour Palette

The colours specifically from the second mood board are earthy, misty and and fresh. The tones are inspired by our five senses, specifically how the landmark would smell and feel.

In the end, I decided to go with the mood board#2 as it better illustrated the eerie and mysterious mood. I felt that I could implicate the story element to the particular mood board without the use of illustrations by the subtle use of typography and colour.

Typography

For the main typeface, I chose Playfair Display- it is a classic story tale font used in many novels and folktale books.

Logo

At first, I wanted to introduce the story aspect visually into the logo. Thus, I started sketching key Icelandic feature like mountains, houses, and glaciers. However, I realized the illustrations were too focused only on one particular aspect of Iceland. With that, I decided to retrace my steps and aim for a logo that was simple and minimal.

For the final logo, I decided to eliminate the pictorial mark and instead aimed for a wordmark logo. The logo typeface is Montserrat and it contains two weights.

“Unravel” has a lighter weight but still is apparent. The lightness connects back to the theme of revealing through exploration. The word “Iceland” is the emphasis. It is grounded as the the boldness stresses that the country has a lot to offer.

Final Logo

The final logo is not too revealing or specific to one phenomenon but it allows the user to ponder what Iceland really has to offer.

Brand Collateral Material

Coffee Table Book

The main print collateral for the tourism campaign would be a coffee table book and a subway ad.

Inside the book contain a collection of photographs of unknown Icelandic landmarks. The coffee table book is a tangible “storybook” filled with old folktales connected to the locations.

Final Desktop Screens

Mobile Prototype

The mobile prototype and its animations were completed through the program, Principle. Ideally, the transition between screens would be a vertical scrolling parallax motion.

There are subtle animations found within the screens. For example, there is a pulsating oval meant to lure the user into clicking the button. Through click, a description of the location is revealed.

Overall, the transitional movements between screens disclose a story element belonging to the landmark.

Reflections

In the process of creating a tourism branding campaign for Iceland, I encountered numerous challenges. Specifically, at times I was focused on the user experience part of the project. I would worry over how functionalities would work and whether my campaign from a marketing perspective would be successful.

All in all, I learned that taking effective breaks are necessary to gain a different perspective. I found that going for a walk or even talking to my peers about their challenges helped me significantly.

For the future, I would like to expand on the campaign and design social media ads. In addition, perhaps I can explore other animation programs to animate the original parallax movement I first envisioned for the landing page.

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