Founded by Thomas Cook in 1841 when he reportedly organized one of the first-ever publicly-acknowledged tours in history by arranging for the transport of passengers and taking a fee from the rail tickets, the eponymous Thomas Cook is now one of Europe’s largest travel agencies with over 30,000 employees, a fleet of 97 aircraft, nearly 3,000 retail locations, and over 19 million customers a year. After doing a test of the new brand in the Nordic region of Europe with a logo designed by Stockholm-based Happy F&B, Thomas Cook has extended their new “Sunny Heart” branding to the whole company. (According to Design Week the broader redesign was done in-house as to “have not paid expensive consultants or spent lots of money on this brand unification.”)
Building on the company’s already strong brand heritage, and as part of its Transformation, The Thomas Cook Groups announced the unification of its brands and market activity under one common symbol, the ‘Sunny Heart’.
The new, unified brand captures the essence of Thomas Cook: how it delivers inspiring personal journeys as the trusted pioneer in global travel. In its shortened form this essence translates to Let’s go! It is a promise made to all stakeholders and for customers it reflects the values that they come to us for, values of trust, personalisation and innovation, and an approach that is high-tech and high-touch across all customer touch points.
Of all the globe logos we see, the old Thomas Cook logo wasn’t the worst. It wasn’t the best either but it’s biggest drawback was that it felt much more like a financial services brand than a travel agency. The new logo is undeniably more consumer friendly. It’s a heart. It’s sunny. The concept is so syrupy sweet it almost makes your teeth hurt. But the execution in both the shape of the heart and the typography is still somewhat cold, failing to really establish a warmer connection with the customers. If you look at the brand architecture chart, where the Ving/Tjäreborg/Spies logos are, you can see a softening of the typography that takes the brand away from the we-want-your-money spectrum. It would have been beneficial to establish a waterfall effect of typography that makes the corporate mark feel like a business suit and fancy shoes and the customer mark feel like sweater-around-the-neck and loafers. Overall, it’s an improvement for sure, but it could have been taken further. Perhaps if they had paid one of those “expensive consultants”…