The look they were utilizing was tired and lacked cohesion due to the addition of elements over the years. They were in need of a team that had a true understanding of their market and the creative talent to deliver on all fronts.
Concept & Direction
The goal of the project was to strike a balance between a fun, carefree beach experience and the professional, reliable personality Sun ‘n’ Fun is known for. While tourists are the primary target audience, the brand also needed to resonate with natives of Martha’s Vineyard due to the seasonal nature of tourist customers. Visually, we needed to unify the scooter, bicycle and Jeep rentals that comprise Sun ‘n’ Fun’s core services, as a clear, singular brand. It was also very important to not create an unrecognizable departure from the previous identity, in order to maintain the existing brand equity they had built over the first 30 years. We did not want returning clients to feel like this was a completely different company, but instead, an improved version of the company they had used for years.
The direction for the final mark came out of an exhaustive process of first defining the brand’s personality including a series of icons that represented the key aspects of Sun ‘n’ Fun’s business. The simple and playful nature of these icons helped define the brand’s overall voice, and once they were in place, the rest of the branding came into focus. By the end of the process, we’d developed a dynamic logo with multiple layouts for distinct applications. Since each icon is representative of a key aspect of the business, the different versions can be utilized on a “best-fit” basis, depending on the medium. In addition, the icons can be removed completely if the execution calls for a focus on the company as a whole.
One of the most difficult icons to create was an identifiable contour of Martha’s Vineyard that could scale easily, while maintaining a few detailed elements. After several iterations of the island, we finally landed on one that felt right and is now the lead icon for the brand.
The typography chosen for this brand is Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ slab serif font Vitesse for the primary mark, and House Industries’ Neutraface for the secondary supporting type. Tertiary and copy text is Eames Century Modern, also by House Industries. Each font carries its own strength, while maintaining the personality and ease of the brand. The fonts’ neutrality represents the brand’s playful nature, while still presenting a professional image. The foundries’ descriptions of each font helps demonstrate why they work to represent a fun brand based on historic Martha’s Vineyard:
“Engineered for responsive handling and a sporty ride, Vitesse is confident and stylish in any situation.” — H&FJ
Geometric and architecturally imbued as a steadfast yet buoyant typeface no matter the circumstance.
Eames Century Modern
“Eames Century Modern is a typographic workhorse that honors the Eames aesthetic while offering unprecedented functionality.” — House Industries
Initially, color seemed to be a simple decision. Several colors were chosen early in the process, and remained on the table while we worked through the mark and typeface layouts. As the final mark was being refined, and colors were becoming priority, we decided that four colors should be reduced to just two or three colors in order to unify the brand and the multiple icon representations the brand now allowed for.
This left us with a worn heather grey/blue combined with a distinct complimentary yellow and rounded out with a subtle sky blue. The primary heather blue and toned yellow carry the bulk of the brand, while the lighter blue reinforces it. These colors were similar enough to the previous branding so as not to confuse existing clients, but different enough to communicate a new, revitalized look. The muted tones of the color palette are meant to reflect the history of the company and the atmosphere of the island itself.
Future applications of this new look are limitless. With a simple color palette, clear typeface selections and a broad collection of service icons, this brand is set up for success. Although it was not a defined goal in the beginning, we also ended up with a solution that lends itself to customer-focused merchandising, like t-shirts, stickers and more. While you don’t often see folks wearing a shirt from a car-rental company, the new branding has a “souvenir” quality to it. Clients can now remember their trip to the Vineyard by leaving with a fun shirt or sticker set, and help spread the word about Sun ‘n’ Fun. If you are interested in some swag of your own, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a great time working on this project and the client now has a complete identity system to move forward with. We are now looking forward to overhauling their website and watching their continued success for the next 30 years.
Please leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
Thanks to our pal @JuwanHR for all the great product photography.
Don Gregory, Owner
I want to thank the amazing team at Focus Lab for putting together a great new brand for our company. Your creative process and attention to detail from start to finish made for a truly enjoyable experience. We couldn’t be happier with the final product and I’m now excited to start our new website with you this fall. Thanks for everything.
Make Some Noise