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New Logo for Pennsylvania (Tourism) by



Noted Mar. 11, 2016 by Armin

Industry / Destinations Tags /


“The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, which operates under the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to inspiring travel to and throughout the commonwealth.” More about Pennsylvania itself here.

Design by

Red House Communications (Pittsburgh, PA)
Lettering: Daniel Gurwin (Pittsburgh, PA)

Related links

PA press release
PA brand launch page

Relevant quote
“Pursue Your Happiness” is the product of months of industry input and focus group testing of creative concepts that revealed a strong traveler preference for an active and action-oriented tone and a fun, adventurous and even humorous brand personality. The “Pursue Your Happiness” slogan received strong positive response across all demographics. The logo is a hand-lettered, original trademark designed to present a fresh look for Pennsylvania, one which includes a hint of a smile.

PA press release

Images (opinion after)
New Logo for Pennsylvania (Tourism) by
Logo detail.
New Logo for Pennsylvania (Tourism) by
Icon. I’m hoping that nick in the counterspace of the “A” is a blip in the digital file and not the actual design.
New Logo for Pennsylvania (Tourism) by
Slogan and logo introduction.

If, like me, you are wondering what the old logo was, it's a keystone — as in the center stone of an arch that holds the rest of the stones together — representing Pennsylvania's nickname of the Keystone state. Explanation aside, the old logo didn't look much more interesting or inviting than a highway sign so, for a tourism logo, it lacked some friendliness. The new logo is perhaps too friendly, looking more like an amusement park logo than a state representation. (It's almost as if they unspooled the Aussie World ribbon and got the new Pennsylvania lettering.) It gets some points for being actual lettering and not a font, given the amount of "n"s in the name. For a state with so much history and industrial legacy, this feels waaaaaay too playful. It could easily say Missouri or Delaware or Florida and it wouldn't make a difference. When used as an icon inside the now wobbly keystone shape, then at least it has some relationship to the state but the "PA" lettering inside it is not good at all. City logos are hard but state logos are harder as they have to capture the essence of different cities and areas but in trying to be too overarching and cover a state with cities as different as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, this logo fails to capture anything at all. The video and t-shirts show some promise in an engaging visual system but feels like it's trying too hard to convey a nature-y explorer vibe.

Thanks to AW Rader for the tip.

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UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Austin, TX.

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