NORTHERN BC TOURISM

Northern BC Tourism Identity

A Small Staff with a Big Job

At approximately 500,000 square kilometers, Northern BC is vast. Renowned for its stunning natural beauty and backcountry adventure, the people at Northern BC Tourism work to tell this region's stories to audiences around the world. However, their limited resources were resulting in a number of challenges. They wanted smashLAB to help enhance both the look and functionality of their website, and update their corporate identity, to better reflect their offering and engage audiences.more

Looking at Who Really Travels Here

Following an evaluation of their existing site, we established a new direction to better reach potential visitors. Their audiences were diverse, ranging from families to outdoor enthusiasts to Alaska bound tourists. Consequently, these differing backgrounds, interests, and needs informed all of our actions.

Large, stunning images took the forefront, while language was kept down-to-earth. Even the logo was informed by surveying people who lived in the region, and what they believed to be most iconic about their home.

A New Identity is Like a Better Toolkit

The organization's redesigned website experienced a ten-fold increase in traffic, while new marketing tools, member management, and publications systems streamlined internal workflows. Meanwhile, the new tagline, "It's all in our nature" became central, informing the new brand identity system. Symbols representing local vegetation and wildlife were used to reflect the spirit of this region. Then, for an advertising campaign, we juxtaposed epic photographs from the region with humorous bear safety tips, to remind ourselves that fun and real experiences can be had in these spectacular locations.

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Finding a way to accurately represent an area as massive as Northern British Columbia, to prospective visitors from around the world, was no simple task. It required the creation of a number of common visual markers that could work with an expansive library of imagery, content, and stories.

To get a feel for which icons the residents of Northern BC felt represented them best, we fashioned a poll that allowed many to provide their thoughts and input. These findings led to the creation of the illustrations above, which form the core elements of the Northern BC Tourism identity system.

With these icons in place, we combined them to create a pattern that could be applied to all Northern BC Tourism identity materials, and build consistency. Working in just two tones, this subtle treatment lends some visual interest and energy to their materials.

A few of the most notable forms are pulled together in the Northern BC Tourism mark. These, coupled with a friendly wordmark, which liberally mixes upper and lower case glyphs, creates a pleasant introduction to visitors.

The Northern BC Tourism website begins with powerful photographs that illustrate the beauty and enormity of the region. From here, users are led through a number of tools and content groups aimed at helping them find the information they’re most interested in.

Northern BC Tourism website
Northern BC Tourism website

A vast array of content is made available on the site, ranging from details on specific areas within the region, to vacation planners, milage calculators, and relevant listing data. Meanwhile, an adaptable stakeholder database allows members to update information about their operations.

The Northern BC Tourism identity system as applied to their stationery kit. Pictured (from left, clockwise): letterhead (front overlaid atop back); business card front and back; envelope.

Northern BC Tourism bear 'safety' tip advert
Northern BC Tourism bear 'safety' tip advert
Northern BC Tourism bear 'safety' tip advert

An ad campaign for Northern BC Tourism highlights the breathtaking vistas and getaways in a notably playful fashion. Here, we find a number of bear “safety” messages depicted in humorous ways. (No animals were harmed in the making of this advertising campaign.)

Scope

  • Assessment, competitive analysis, and strategy
  • Creative concept and corporate identity system
  • Website design, development, and CMS integration
  • Custom member management application
  • Advertising campaign and Search Engine Marketing

Key Benefits

  • Clarifies the region's brand promise and collateral
  • Provides a comprehensive resource for region
  • Achieves marketing needs of organization/members
  • Attracts visitors through prominent high-impact images
  • Minimizes time-consuming internal procedures

Assets

  • Icon, wordmark, and tagline
  • Marketing collateral, including PowerPoint decks
  • Rich slideshows, trip planners, and other online tools
  • Ad campaign and search engine marketing (SEM)

Feedback

"Not only do I feel that our site is one of the best tourism sites in BC, but it also rivals any tourism site."