I have never been to Taiwan so you will be spared of any personal recollections today. Located in Eastern Asia, Taiwan is a small island that the Central Intelligence Agency compares in size to the combined square milage of the states of Delaware and Maryland — while there is a combined 6 million people in those two, there are 23 million people in Taiwan. In 2010, Taiwan reportedly had 5 million visitors but it seems they want more. Earlier this month, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau introduced a new identity, designed by London-based Winkreative (the brand agency of Monocle’s Tyler Brûlé), and a new slogan that replaces the awkward sounding “Taiwan, Touch Your Heart” for “Taiwan — The Heart of Asia.”
The new “Taiwan — The Heart of Asia” logo is succinct, and consists of a newly created typeface. It represents the sincerity and innovation of Taiwan’s communications with the world. Taiwan is a fusion of tradition with new trends. Its special characteristics and diversity present what is precisely a microcosm of Asia. Asia’s heart and Taiwan’s warmth are what Taiwan tourism wants to offer tourists from around the world. In the future, all of the Bureau’s promotional material will carry the new logo. Along with the launch of the new logo, the Bureau is presenting a new tune, “Time for Taiwan”, to promote tourism. It will become a new hit among all sectors in Taiwan that are promoting tourism — from government departments to tourism and related industries. The tune, which is composed by Hou Chih-chien, with lyrics by Rei Kuang-hsia and Hou Yi-ping, was launched together with a 30-second promotional cartoon at the same time as the new brand. We hope these new efforts will encourage everyone to recognize Taiwan Tourism’s new brand, new goal, and new mission.
— Press Release
The old logo was a bit clichéd with the brush calligraphic strokes but it wasn’t that bad, rainbow coloring notwithstanding. The elements of the new identity nicely avoid an “Asian” aesthetic in favor of one that is more globalized in a way but still having enough flair that it couldn’t be applied to, say, Venice. The wordmark is a handsome stencil serif — what the baby of House Industries’ Eames Black Stencil and Commercial Type’s Dala Floda would look like — that is decidedly western, but the swooshy ends of some of the characters, like the “a,” exude some of the exotic vibe one would expect from the idea of Taiwan. The heart is… interesting. When reproduced small it looks like a sophisticated ornament of some kind, but when blown up it looks like a way-too-cute illustration that would be better suited on the cover of a children’s book about Taiwan, and the details are far from sophisticated or even cohesive. With the spate of talented illustrators that grace the pages of Monocle you would think Winkreative might have found someone to execute the illustration much better. Other than the photo of the shopping bag above, it remains to be seen how the logo and heart play together or how the rest of the identity is executed. A decent start, so hopefully we’ll see more.