Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Standing Stilt

Reviewed Jun. 29, 2009 by Armin

Industry / Destinations Tags /

U.S. Virgin Islands Logo, New

No matter where you are right now — specially on a Monday — the thought of being in a Caribbean island surely does not sound like the worst alternative to reading about logos on a blog. But if, like the rest of us, you are stuck in front of your monitor the least we can do is show you some design related to Caribbean islands. Earlier this year the Department of Tourism of the U.S. Virgin Islands launched a new identity, designed by J. Walter Thompson, with a Mocko Jumbie, a traditional stilt dancer, as its main icon.

“We decided it was time to adapt to the changing marketplace and develop a new logo and branding that truly represents the U.S. Virgin Islands and symbolizes the unscripted vacation experience that comes with having three very distinct islands and a variety of unique experiences to choose from,” explains Commissioner of Tourism, Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “The Mocko Jumbie character symbolizes the vibrancy of our people and our culture, while the stars represent the enchanting and individual spirits of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John.”
Press Release [PDF]

U.S. Virgin Islands Logo, Icon

Detail of icon and logo in one-color application.

This is one of the best destination logos I have seen in a while. The exotic, vibrant and varied nature of the U.S. Virgin Islands is very well captured in the colorfully fragmented icon, which has a lovely graphic tension with the small upper body and giant lower body. The three stars representing the main three islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas) add a certain magic flair to the logo without, I think, being too corny.

U.S. Virgin Islands Logo, Type

Detail of typography from PDF.

In terms of the typography, I’m really not sure what’s going on, the press release PDF shows a very distorted treatment which is not quite as evident as the logo on the web site, but it may just be the size difference. If it’s indeed intended to be so scribbly, I think it could have been a little less of an Adobe Illustrator Distort filter. Nonetheless, I have to admit it looks good when reduced.

So if you can’t fly to the U.S. Virgin Islands any time soon maybe just get yourself a pair of stilts to go with your business casual attire.

U.S. Virgin Islands Logo

Update: Thanks to first-commenter John for pointing out that the work is also represented at Iconologic. The image from their web site is shown above. The press release I quoted originally states “Following a series of focus groups and months of rigorous market research by Atlanta-based advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson […]” so I assumed wrong that JWT did the logo as well.

Thanks to Felix Sockwell for the tip.



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