Monday, February 14, 2011

Taiwan tourism logo, old and new

The Taiwan Tourism Bureau announced a new logo and a new slogan last Friday. The slogan is now "Taiwan - Heart of Asia", replacing "Touch Your Heart". The word "Heart" is kept in the slogan, but has new meaning.

More information about both the old and the new logo after the jump.

At first glance, the old logo looks like yet another of those calligraphy logos that seem popular with tourism bureaus. But the bureau has apparently crammed meaning into every single letter in the name. Here's an explanation in an article published in 2006 by Taiwans tourism respresentative in the United States (archived version):
The artwork for the board arises from the idea of the Director General of Taiwan Tourism Bureau; with elaborate colors, and the placement of the Tourism Bureau's logo in the center of the board is very representative and deep in meaning, the character "T" is like the roof for a house, and the Tourism Bureau wishes to make the visitors feel at home; the letter "A" is like a hospitable host warmly welcomes his guest, the guest being the character "I". The character "W" appears to look like the host and the guest greeting each other. After the greeting, the host is supposed to treat his guest to a cup of tea, and that's the exact representation of the characters "A" and "N". The Taiwan postmark at the upper right-hand corner of the logo uses the color red to represent a pure and brave heart, and expresses the sincerity and hospitality of the slogan "Taiwan Touch Your Heart".
As if that wasn't enough, the tourism representatives have posted a video on their Facebook profile where silhouettes of people morph into the letters in the logo. This is accompanied by by a cheesy and catchy tune where the male lead shouts "Ilha Formosa - Taiwan will touch your heart".

Based on the copyright notice on that video and recent news reports, it seems like the logo and the "Touch Your Heart" tagline were introduced around 2001-2002

The new logo is more simple and elegant, set with specially commissioned type and coloured with a warm orange gradient.

According to Taiwanese news reports (archived version), the new visual identity is the work of London design agency Winkreative, who are most familiar to me for the rebrand of Sky One back in 2004.
Besides the logo that consists of a newly created typeface, the promotional package includes a series of designs with the "heart" theme that displays the many charms of Taiwan, a new tune "Time for Taiwan," and a 30-second promotional cartoon.

The bureau said it has begun soliciting advice from experts since 2009 in hopes of elevating Taiwan's global image from the old campaign "Taiwan, Touch Your Heart."

"It wasn't as if we tried to change something that basically was not working. What we want to do is to develop it, " said Jerry Fielder, CEO of London-based Winkreative Co. who helped build the new brand of Taiwan tourism.
In addition to the logo, there are also heart-shaped "displays" with representations of things from Taiwanese culture. Media reports say that there are several, but I have only found the one. It is a rather cute collage with a pagoda, fire works, a path, a skyscraper, a tea pot, a bird, a butterfly, a couple at dinner and lots of flowers.
The tourism board have put a little video on their front page where the "display" has been animated, with a man on a bicycle going past the pagoda.

Some links:
Press release (archive)
Article from the Tourism Board (in Chinese) archived version

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