West Coast of Tasmania: www.westcoasttas.com.au
Tourist boards aren’t often known for their thoughtful designs or eye-catching aesthetics, and it’s easy to end up with a product that looks glitzy but soulless; sunny landscapes and smiling faces that end up getting lost in the sea of other tourist sites that offer much the same. The west coast of Tasmania, however, really breaks the mold in this regard. When you arrive at his website, the first thing you are presented with is a nearly full-screen video montage of some of the best views of Tasmania’s rugged west coast, framed by an eye-catching red and yellow border that sets the tone. to the overall color palette. It feels rich and characterful and nothing like you’d expect.
Designed by New Zealand studio Son & Co.., and marked by the Australian agency For the people, Tasmania’s west coast aesthetic strikes a great balance between contemporary and retro. “The illustrations recall memories of past travel, like sewn-on backpack patches and suitcase stickers,” explain Sons & Co. founders Matthew Arnold and Timothy Kelleher. “Meanwhile, the large-scale typography references the commercial signs commonly seen throughout the region at the start of European settlement and the mining boom of the late 19th century; and the photography is dark and moody, defying the stereotype of sunny, smiling tourist imagery.
Speaking about the inspiration behind these design choices, Matthew and Timothy explain that they were strongly informed by the area’s unique history and location. “The West Coast is a World Heritage area with significant natural and cultural value. It’s beautiful, but it can be hard. It’s far from everything, the landscape is intimidating and the weather harsh. However, embracing these aspects of the region turned them into selling points rather than things to avoid. They continue: “By not fearing the ‘negatives’ – isolation, darkness, wild, unforgiving and inhospitable – an unconventional beauty is revealed, which attracts – and provokes – those who are willing to take the path less traveled. , see what it feels like to stand on the edge of the world.
These characteristics are tangible throughout the website, which is honest about the reality of life on the West Coast. He’s also candid about the area’s modern history, which includes “European settlement, the convict era, mining, and the environmental controversy that followed.” Some tourist boards would avoid highlighting these less glamorous elements, but here they are part of the imperfect history of the area – which in turn is part of the history of the local people, and it is very clear that locals are a major branding feature. In fact, when designing the design, it was decided that the system would be open source, allowing local businesses to create their own brand image using the various fonts and graphics. Matthew and Timothy say this is their favorite feature of the site: “There’s a tool to help anyone create their own West Coast-style logo, which is fun. It is a kind of open source brand, free to use and adapt.
Top tip from Matthew and Timothy:
In some ways, it’s easy to create an attractive and usable website, because these designs already exist in abundance, and it’s not too hard to be original, as anything goes. But the trick is to do things that linger in the mind.