At the beginning of the year, the Tybee Island Tourism Council revealed an entirely new logo. Though many SCAD students travel to Tybee on a regular basis, not many people really knew what the official branding was, or if there was any at all. In an article featured in the Savannah Morning News on Jan. 14, the Mayor pro tem of Tybee, Wanda Doyle, admitted to the old logo being uninspiring. So the Tourism Council turned to the Crafton Group in Atlanta to design today’s current logo. According to Doyle, the aim was to reintroduce Tybee as a “family friendly destination” that is “eclectic [and] unique.” Unfortunately, the design fails to achieve this and instead presents a dated, clichéd approach to logo design.
In most technical aspects, the design does not adapt to different environments. By merely viewing it at different sizes, the composition falls apart. There’s not enough breathing room on either side of it on their official website. Maybe the Tourism Council didn’t specify the ideal amount of white space, or maybe CG just thought this was a good idea. Either way, the logo suffocates on the website. The mark of a good logo is something that doesn’t need temporary fixes to sit comfortably anywhere.
Compositionally, the captions “Visit” and “Savannah’s Beach” extend far beyond the border of the main letter forms. This creates a sense of imbalance and makes the type look as if it is just floating there. The choice of typeface is very clichéd. Though this may be a personal preference, the use of a serif typeface for “Savannah’s Beach” throws the viewer off. Why is it different from the top two lines of text? There appears to be no real thought behind creating typographical hierarchy. Logically, “Tybee Island” would be the focal point. The most obvious solution to make this successful would be to give the same type treatment to the top and bottom lines of text. The designers are on the right track with use of the same color, but the type choice throws this off completely.
Finally, let’s talk about that lighthouse. Knowing that Tybee Island has a lot of lighthouses, the use of an illustration as the capital “I” is a lazy approach. Years ago, this may have been an innovative design solution, but today it is not nearly as clever as one might assume. The lighthouse sits on a wave that appears like a default Photoshop brush. The figure itself is something straight out of the Clip Art panel of Microsoft Word ’97. What’s worse is the fact the lighthouse is given a gradient. All known graphic design sins aside, gradients do not register well on many non-paper materials such as T-shirts, mugs, shoes, etc. A solid color treatment is truly the most cost-effective solution.
It’s certainly surprising that many companies in the area aren’t turning to SCAD students to redesign their branding for them. Tybee Island Tourism Council’s logo looks like a stock template corporate identity. Hiring a student would probably have yielded the same, if not better, results and cost a lot less. Yes, no one remembers their old logo, but maybe that’s better than being known for this one?