I always have a hard time introducing destinations so let’s just go with a few, simple facts about Bulgaria: located in Southeastern Europe it is the continent’s 14th-largest country with more than 7 million habitants and, apropos to this review, welcomes more than 8 million tourists per year. Last week, the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism introduced a new tourism logo designed by Sofia-based Publicis MARC Group that will begin to be used in September 2013.
Update: This new logo system does NOT replace the painted rose logo. This is NOT a country brand (for which the painted rose logo is used) but a tourism brand — the challenge being “To create a globally competitive integrated brand system for the first time in the history of the Bulgarian travel industry”. Publicis MARC Group has also provided some text. Apologies for any confusion.
He expressed hope that the new symbols will make our country competitive and recognizable among foreign tourists. With the introduction of the new brand strategy is expected after 5 years the number of tourists visiting the country, to increase by 25%. There are many elements in the logo, reflecting the capabilities of the Diversity of Bulgaria in the field of tourism Ivo Marinov said.
Visual elements of the brand “Bulgaria” integrate symbols of sun and flower. They are arranged in various combinations with other symbols that represent the possibilities of our country as a tourist destination. In addition to national logo and slogan were developed and ten sub-brand for different types of tourism.
— Press Release (Google Translated)
In the center of each logo, a stylized sun has been placed, as seen by the ancient people living in the Bulgarian lands - a great gold yellow object traveling across the sky in permanent movement. Around, different environments you can discover under the Bulgarian sun have been placed, e.g. the beaches, the sea, the mountains and lakes.
Within the system the shape always stays the same, but the story inside changes. It leaves room for personal interpretations and discoveries. Similar to the experience you can expect when you visit and explore the country. Bulgaria - A discovery to share.
The colors: Research shows, that Bulgaria is associated with warm yellow and green. Vacationers associate relaxing and great vacation with blue. Red is one of the colors of the national flag, often found in architecture, folk costumes and embroidery.
The typography: The font mixes old and new. It features references of the old Bulgarian Glagolitic alphabet, which dates back to the 9th century. It was a predecessor of the Cyrillic alphabet, which is used in the country today.
— Provide text from Publicis
The old logo, an abstraction of a rose, was rather nice if possibly a thorn in the ass to reproduce since the color changes are so subtle and paint texture is always hard to print properly. The new (main) logo maintains the rose and then adds a bucketful of stuff next to it that aims to capture Bulgaria’s natural attractions, from its sandy beaches to its peaky mountain range. The result is painfully clip-art-y, with an overly swirly aesthetic that feels more appropriate for an American water park than a European country. The casual typography with its parenthetical dots doesn’t help either. It begins to get interesting with the development of the sub-brands that attempt to capture specific themes within Bulgarian tourism but, unfortunately, the execution fails in most instances, resulting in blobby formations — it’s like a bloated version of the Unilever logo. Overall, the idea and approach was interesting but it suffers from lack of graphic sophistication.