Clare Fuller, then at the design consultancy Enterprise IG, was directly involved in the rebranding process. “Owners Abroad had grown rapidly mainly through acquisition and had lost direction,” she explains. “The staff were confused uncomfortable about their future – it’s hard to give someone a good time if you’re worried about your job.”
Enterprise IG worked together with the travel company’s advertising agency to create a more vibrant new name and new image. They also initiated a series of internal launches to educate staff as to what the company stood for, its aspirations, objectives and public persona. “The basic idea was to bring colour to the company, to make it bright and happy and evocative of a holiday,” says Fuller.
Next to the crude and uninteresting competition, the light, bright relaunch as First Choice Holidays was deemed quite radical. However, many rival operators – including Thompson and Airtours – have rebranded since then.
There’s no denying it’s colourful. The pictoral, slightly childlike, logo has a palette of five colours – blue, yellow, pink, turquoise and white – with the company name in an inviting sea blue. It depicts a sun, a flower, sea, sky and, depending on how you look at it, a beach or range of mountains. It’s fun and breezy – just what you’d hope for from a holiday – but there is a certain gravitas in the choice of typeface, which reassures customers of the company’s experience and professionalism.