We are a new, start-up American-backed travel company based in Delhi that will be managed by experienced Indian travel professionals. We can’t compete with the many well-established travel companies that have been around for decades and have a staff of 20, so we are positioning ourselves in a niche market. Our focus will be India and other parts of South Asia (Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and possibly Maldives). We will offer custom trips that give the client an opportunity to see and experience some of India’s well-known sights/sites, but will also take the client off the tourist path onto the road-less-traveled to get a better understanding of the many different aspect of India.
The off-the-beaten-path journeys will include opportunities for clients to see villages, join locals on the floor for dinner, talk to farmers barely making a living, experience a slum, volunteer with some conversational English, talk to wives left in rural areas while the husbands work in Delhi or Mumbai, talk to handicraft makers, learn to bake bread in a tandoori oven, follow the tuk tuk driver home. We won’t just visit temples and mosques, but will engage in conversations to understand the religious contexts of the holy sites. We won’t just hear the typical guide’s spiel, but will try to go behind the scenes to understand India – its multiculturalism, its diversity, it’s amazing growth, its lingering poverty, its vast numbers, its fascination, its history, its changing traditions, etc.
We will design custom trips for individual travelers or for small groups. They won’t be for the mainstream tourist wanting to do a typical Golden Triangle trip. They will be on the higher end in terms of cost, but we will also offer some packages for the 20- and 30-something travelers, something in their price range. The key is that these are trips for those who want authenticity, who want an opportunity to genuinely learn more about the country they travel through, and who want to have more of an immersion into the vibrant and varied culture of India.
We will be very service oriented. The web site will be very photo intensive, since the American backers are both photographers and writers.
The logo should be sophisticated. I tend to like stylized things. I recently went through a very successful design competition for my company, which is the American parent company of Authentic Journeys India. I will include the three logos for my Ten Thousand Cranes, since they reflect the sort of style I personally like (each of the three finalists were exceptional to work with and I will invite them into this competition). Authentic Journeys India is a four-person team at present, so, while I’ll take the lead in the design process and decision making, the logo will need to appeal to all of us. I mention that so you know you have some latitude beyond the Ten Thousand Cranes logos.
Even though I have worked in graphic design and even some logo design myself, I have no idea whatsoever what sort of logo would best represent Authentic Journeys India. What I feel would not be appropriate would be the typical images of luggage, passports, etc. Nothing cute or gimmicky would feel right. Probably no airplanes. So how do you capture the essence of a travel experience in a logo? There are no birds to draw, like there were with Ten Thousand Cranes. We have no real branding yet, so you are the start point for our branding. We may play with the company initials of AJI – they could become part of a good graphic, but we would not want the essence of our type of travel to get lost in the acronym.
Perhaps there is simply some design element – a certain swoop of the pen, a certain squiggle, a symbol – that could ultimately represent the company. I can’t really imagine a map as part of the logo, nor a camera – although someone might surprise me with a map image and design that captures my imagination. I am a retired professor of Cultural Geography !
I am open to different fonts, especially one that seems to represent India. But nothing hard to read or cutesy. Often a more standard font doesn’t compete with the design, but sometimes the font becomes the design.
I will respond to submissions by updating you with feedback as I become more aware of what is feeling right and what is not. I hope a number of South Asian designers will jump in – capturing the essence of your land better than I can describe. We are open to different colors and would entertain a design with a full-color spectrum or a design with just two colors. The design should hold its own on a white background. Reverses are wonderful and we would like to have the option to have one version of the design as a reverse, but we need a logo that can stand alone on white or superimposed over a photo.
I’m not certain if this layout positioning will hold when I post it, but the company name and tag line will likely appear as follows: Upper and Lower case with company name, all lower case and smaller font for tag line, both lines flush right.
Authentic Journeys India
so much to experience
I will list a few travel companies that I consider good models, in case you want to peruse their websites for ideas.
Asia Transpacific Journeys http://www.asiatranspacific.com/
Insight Travels http://www.insighttravels.com/
Enchanting Travels http://www.enchanting-travels.com/
Authentic Asia http://www.authenticasia.net/
Zicasso: Handcrafted Travel http://www.zicasso.com/
Abercrombie & Kent http://www.abercrombiekent.com/trav…ry-travel/
Hope this was helpful to get you started.