Established many centuries ago, and its existence debated by many, Hell is a destination for suffering, punishment, and exposure to open flames for those that deserve it. With a long and well documented competition with Heaven, whose existence is also debated by many, Hell has seen a decline in population and brand recognition. This August — fittingly the hottest month of the year — the Hell Office of Travel and Tourism has introduced a new identity designed by Chicago, IL-based Chris Herron Design to position Hell as “the premier global tourist destination.”
“From the beginning of this project, we understood that our previous marketing efforts portrayed a confusing and misleading image of Hell. But it was only after completing a formal brand review that we grasped the full extent of the problem. Based on stakeholder input, we realized that a complete brand overhauls was necessary,” says Mr. Landis.
With the help of Chris Herron Design, the Hell Office of Travel & Tourism has created a friendly and welcoming voice for destination Hell, and in so doing, has reaffirmed its mission to create an environment in which local businesses can succeed and flourish.
— Press Release
The previous logo for Hell communicated exactly what it had to: this place effin’ sucks and you don’t want to go to there. I don’t think it was necessary to change the positioning and adopt a look that was the complete opposite: welcoming and friendly. But let’s assume that it was the right strategic decision. Then the new logo succeeds quite well. The lowercase and rounded sans serif gives it instant accessibility and comfort — I love the detail on the “h” where the stem meets the curve, just a slight notch. The color blue is quite pleasing too. I’m not sure about the halo, I think people might confuse it for Heaven, but I think once you are there and you see all the spikes and molten lava and other evil stuff then you will quickly know that it is not.
The applications keep the identity lively and engaging. I especially love the lobby at corporate headquarters with its stark minimalism. Seeing the logo in white on black shows that it doesn’t only rely on the shading and the colors to exude friendliness. Overall, this is a great rebrand and even though I would rather not visit anytime soon, at least I can count on a great branded experience if I do end up there one day.
Yes, yes, this is not real and no, no, it’s not April Fools. I know. Chris Herron sent me this project yesterday and I thought it was very smart and clever and he went completely over the top with it. I mean, just look at all the logo explorations he did for a fake project. Some real clients with real projects would be lucky to get that amount of exploration from their consultants. I love when people commit to an idea like this and execute it all the way, it certainly deserves attention. Whenever I give lectures, the inevitable question I get in the end is how does a designer get attention or get his or her foot in the door, either with an employer or potential clients. I always respond that you need to make stuff up, come up with something unique and clever that doesn’t rely on clients or briefs and that reflects the kind of work you want to do. Make your own. This is the perfect example.