Branding is a dirty word to a lot of us here in the Untours office. Or rather, it is a sort of necessary evil, as our late founder Hal Taussig might have said. We have a natural resistance to anything that could be perceived as slick. After all, we are a mom-and-pop type operation, many of us having been here for 15+ years. We know many of the people who phone in to book and greet some of them as old friends!
None of that changes with our new logo.
So why the new design? Well, we have a few reasons. Some of us were tired of the old one: the precariousness of the U and the N, the shape that resisted web design and social media profiles, its readability.
But more than anything, we wanted to look ahead. To update our look. We prefer to focus on what the new logo means and where we are heading.
The new logo states our name plainly, simply, and legibly, conveying what we continue to offer, a travel experience that is not a conventional tour but rather something UNconventional and UNstructured, but with full service and support. That balance of support and independence sets us apart not just from the conventional tours but from the many do-it-yourself options in the marketplace. We want to crow about it.
The second U sports an umlaut that forms a smiling face, while making a conspicuous nod to our specialty in Europe and to our Swiss origins. The umlaut U was the source of much discussion here in our office. My German colleague pointed out it was grammatically incorrect, which we know.
Others worried that people may not see the smile at first, or at all. We played with the design to lower the sides of the U, making it look more like a smile but losing the letter and the diacritical–the exotic foreignness of it that made it our own. Afterall, a smile in a logo is a bit general, if not downright cliche. So we went back to a real U.
But the smile matters to us, because more than anything, we are in the business of happiness, of fostering thoughtful travel and meaningful connections that makes us all happier. Do you see the smile?
A simple version of this logo has adorned our blog for years and dates back to a Nick Fortunatus, a prior Marketing Director who started our blog. I’ve always loved the clever simplicity of his idea. Our designer Laryssa Kwoczak reworked it and the Untour Foundation logo to sync them. Thanks to both!
The Untours Foundation also has a new logo! We are proud to be owned by the Untours Foundation, excited to support their work, and touched by all the ways our missions overlap. It only seemed right that our logos should be coordinated, a visual representation of our unity in vision and mission.
We hope you like our new look. Afterall, U, or rather you, are at the center of all we do.