Established in 1994, Silversea is a privately- and family-owned luxury cruise line, headquartered in Monaco. With a relatively small fleet of 8 ships — the mass-market Royal Caribbean cruises have around 25 — that accommodate between 100 to 540 passengers, Silversea travels to over 800 destinations in ultra-luxury cruising style that includes Wi-Fi on board, fine dining, and really fluffy pillows. Over the last year, Silversea has been implementing a new identity — the logo remains the same — designed by London-based The Partners.
Other than the two fancy-looking elderly couple coated in what look like expensive jackets in the top-left photo, there wasn’t much in the old look that hinted at ultra-luxuriness. The cost of a trip with them probably took care of establishing that but this felt just one notch higher in quality than Royal Caribbean.
We worked Silversea for over a year. Initially we undertook a detailed review of Silversea’s competitors. This work lead to a number of strategic insights and also highlighted that the category represented the experience in a very similar way, with predominantly very staged full-colour photography, accompanied by factual, unemotive copy.
Strategically we worked with Silversea to help define their brand positioning. We also created a new visual identity, designed to capture the spirit of adventure and enable Silversea to powerfully differentiate itself within the crowded luxury cruise sector.
At the heart of the visual identity was a striking approach to photography, inspired by old Italian cinematography This creates an evocative and authentic representation of the expedition experience and helps potential guests to imagine themselves on board ship,
An elegant Italian serif font was given a leading role to place the brand’s heritage centre stage. The bold and playful interaction of type with photography reflects the dramatic nature of the expedition experiences.
We also developed a witty tone-of-voice, allowing messaging to humorously interact with the subject matter of image style, i.e. ‘Your Carriage Awaits’ accompanies an image of sleigh and huskies.
There is no question the new look is an improvement and there is no typeface like an Italian Didone to signify luxury and no color palette like red-black-and-white to do the same. Killer photography in exotic locations helps further the cause. The interaction between all the elements, with the typography sometimes dutifully masked to work with the elements of the photo add a welcome depth to the applications. Hints of humor take this down a level from being obnoxious. The identity also downplays the logo which now looks very much out of place. Overall, this now looks to be worth the price of admission (and indicates not all can afford it).