Waco, Texas, prominently known as the home of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, has experienced an influx of visitors since the show’s inception; and born from the desire to positively engage those thousands of tourists is Waco Tours, owned and operated by Waco locals Luke and Rachel Whyte, and David Ridley. (You may also recognize them from season 3 of Fixer Upper)
Waco Tours wanted to seize the opportunity to show thousands of visitors all that Waco has to offer, including its history and charm. Since I too call Waco home these days, I was more than happy to assist Waco Tours when they approached me in the spring of 2016 to help develop their visual brand.
In talking with the group, they mentioned wanting a circle logo, but other than that I was able to play and explore with typography and colors freely. For me, there was a specific goal for the logo. I wanted people to be able to see the Waco Tours logo and know immediately what they are being offered. Essentially, the logo needed to portray the experience the company was offering even if we didn't add words. Having the circle element they requested as my starting point, I played off the idea of a compass by adding an inset circle with "directional" arrows; a nod to the spirit of the company: navigating, discovering, and exploring. I also like that the arrows bring out a simple visual element to the logo. In terms of further visual brand development, I knew color would be important to the design, so I wanted to keep it simple. Since the company is local and promotes everything Waco, I chose blue and green to symbolize the Waco landscape; the green as a nod to Baylor University as well as Cameron Park while the blue represents the Brazos River and Lake Waco. I chose typography that to me, had movement, brought an "outdoor feel", and had a "old world" look about it.
Once the logo was finalized, they asked me to further assist them in additional areas of marketing collateral, including flyers, brochures, posters and a vehicle graphic for their tour buses. While designing the look and feel of their brand, two things were imperative. It was important that the quality of their visual branding match the high quality of the tour, and that what we created visually would get potential visitors excited about booking the tour. I asked myself: How do we make their brand approachable and attractive while ensuring a call to action?
Considering their company targets tourists, I wanted to make sure the collateral we created would stand out among the dozens of racks riddled with flyers and brochures pulling for their attention in hotels and our visitor's center. The tour is so great at showcasing the many wonderful attractions and activities to do during a visit to Waco, that it was important to make Waco Tour's collateral eye-catching in a simple way. This was achieved by retaining a lot of white space at the top of the brochure, so that amongst the colors and busyness of the competing collateral material, the simplicity and straight-forwardness of the Waco Tours logo was easy to focus on.
Waco Tours was communicative throughout the entire design process, making this project both enjoyable and exciting. For a project like this, which supports and flourishes this city we all love, I am thankful as a resident of Wacotown, and as a designer to have played a part.
Stay tuned, new website coming soon.