Established in 2001, Go Ape is a “forest adventure” company in the UK with 34 locations that include everything from zip lines to tree-to-tree crossings, bouncy nets, and all-terrain Segways, among other location-specific activities. Working with specialists to ensure the lowest impact possible, Go Ape parks are located in some of the UK’s most valuable natural areas from London to Scotland and employ over 1,000 people. (The company also has 16 locations in the U.S..) Recently, Go Ape introduced a new identity designed by London-based Littlehawk.
Their mission is to encourage people to live life adventurously by challenging, exciting and surprising them, their friends and their families.
Our mission was to create a new brand identity for Go Ape that would appeal to new customers without alienating its core family audience.
From the very beginning, we set out to rebel against the current design trend for stripped back, simplified brand assets. Instead, we created a distinctive and characterful brand that embodied the bold, fun and adventurous personality of the Go Ape brand.
The old logo was fine. I don’t like anything in particular about it but it did its job in looking bold and exciting. The new logo is also bold and exciting but way more fun with funky, custom typography that emphasizes the idea of going up through an upwards slant on the letters while still being anchored to the baseline. Normally I’m not a fan of “G”s turned it arrows but this is a case where it makes sense and it blends in nicely with the other letters. The only weird thing about the logo is the underline for the “O”, which I understand allows for the “O” to be rendered smaller but it feels like it’s supposed to have some extra meaning or purpose that isn’t clear. Still, I don’t really mind it as I like the unit-ness of the logo stacked and how it unpacks into a horizontal version.
The identity has a lot of great elements to play with. The patterns could potentially be a little more unified in style but I their variety is good — I could do with the banana patterns alone. The display typeface, Sheldon, is playful and looks like something one could carve on a tree — not that anyone should do that, no! — and I like how they stack it, rotate it, and treat it very loosely. Badges and stickers all have the same let’s-not-take-ourselves-too-seriously vibe with clunky arrows and somewhat unfinished-looking illustrations.
The business-side applications are solid and still fun — I would definitely appreciate bananas on my business cards. The merchandise renders look great and have a strong purchase appeal — not to harp on the bananas but I would totally get a banana bandana for, um, my dog, not me.
The identity looks great on site and the system has enough flexibility to adapt to the different types of signage for each location and each location’s activities.
Overall, this is straight-up appropriate fun for these parks. Nothing else to add… well, except for 🍌🍌🍌🍌.