Tourism Australia is a Government-owned agency that is responsible for “attracting international visitors to Australia and encouraging Australians to travel domestically, both for leisure and business events.” In 2003, the agency received a big boost — as in $AU350 million over four years — to promote the country’s brand and in 2004 they introduced a logo designed by Futurebrand — see PDF case study — that introduced the image of the hopping kangaroo with the sun behind it. After eight years, this image appears to still hold value and has been redesigned by Interbrand Australia.
We knew that there were elements that were working in the old logo, the representation of a kangaroo, the sense of movement, energy and vitality, but its slightly childlike feel together with technical difficulties in reproduction often diluted its impact. What’s more, research had highlighted the fact that people saw Australia as a wonderfully colourful experience — blues and greens, as well as reds and oranges — but only some of these experiences were represented in the logo.
Extensive design exploration to reconsider and redraw the shape, poise and movement of the kangaroo — and its correlation with the sun — preceded further work on the use of colour and typography to complete the picture.
— Interbrand project description
I remember the old logo coming out originally and it being part of the then-nascent trend of highly detailed and textural logos — Futurebrand, at the time, a leader in this trend (see UPS) — and thinking that it wasn’t all that bad. The rugged, outback-y look to the type and the sun were interesting and the sunset/sunrise haze effect gave it a nice texture. But I can’t imagine having to reproduce that in print in a consistent manner. What a pain. The new logo keeps the same elements but gives them a fresh execution that doesn’t rely on gradients and lens flares to work. The new kangaroo is a very interesting solution. And a difficult one to pull off. The overlays work really well to help define the body parts of the kangaroo — tail, hip, torso, neck, head… they are all nicely delineated — and using the white gaps to denote elements in the back pane — left leg and ear, sun — help keep it clean and readable. The typography is perfectly decent and playing its supporting role. I love these kind of exercises, where it’s about finding a new way to visually solve the same premise.