All Terrain Excursions branding high-energy guided ATV adventures

What I did: Branding & Identity, Creative Strategy, Print & Layout, Typography

Tools: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop

Challenge

All Terrain Excursions is a conceptual guided side-by-side tour company on Vancouver Island with a goal of bringing more thrill and personality into the tourism industry. The team prides itself in being comprised of passionate and adventurous island-dwellers that really care about the experience. With this small team of dedicated employees, All Terrain Excursions needed branding that had some personality and a natural feel, while establishing themselves as a reliable and professional company.  

Numerous thumbnail sketches were created to explore different logo ideas and directions.

Research & Ideation

I started this project by surrounding myself with research and insight about the industry, including the creation of mindmaps, personas, and a competitor analysis. From this research, it became clear that the identity had to capture an approachability and high-energy feel that was largely lacking in the industry, but would allow All Terrain Excursions to exude their core values.

I created over 100 thumbnail sketches for this identity which helped push past some of the initial and obvious ideas, and challenged me to find new ways to capture and combine different elements. From there, I looked at what was working and what wasn’t, and refined these sketches into a handful of promising concepts to move forward with.

The identity discovery had to be narrowed down to a few promising concepts.

Approach

I found that most of the logos that were working the best combined elements of tourism and nature with driving and excitement, which was a key driver in shaping my decisions. However, I wanted to ensure I didn’t fall into the trap of trying to make the logo explain instead of identify, so I prioritized the goal of creating a unique and memorable mark — focusing back on the core values that All Terrain Excursions embodies.

Getting it Just Right

Bringing the logos from paper into a vector form lost some of their personality, so I knew that adding some roughness back into the logos would be essential. Even though the chosen mark was not a perfect fit for the company as-is, I could instantly see the potential that it had to feel right at home with the brand. From here, I started iterating like crazy — experimenting with roughness, typography, colour, and scale, until my workspace was a mess and I was confident that I had pinpointed the solution I needed.

Working messily in Illustrator helps quickly test out ideas and make refinements.

To Identity and Beyond

The chosen concept combines a tree with a tire track in mud to create a unique icon that feels fitting for the brand — even at a glance or without ever reading into the symbols. The colour orange came from a desire to capture a brightness and energy that would stand out from much of the industry and contrast well alongside the landscapes of these forested adventures. Being based in the tourism industry, the logo had to be adaptable across various uses from business cards to vehicle decals.

Eventually, the final logo concept was chosen and polished.
All Terrain Excursions branding will be seen in a wide variety of places, including on their side-by-sides.

Moving Forward

Carrying the design of the logo across to other touchpoints was more difficult than expected in finding the right feel. Should everything be rough, or does the logo need a clean composition to thrive? In the end, a balance between the two — favouring simplicity — prevailed, and allowed for a fun way to pull the branding across all of All Terrain Excursions.

Takeaways

  • Iteration is key: The more you fail, the more chances you have to win. If you never experiment with that idea, it’ll always be in the back of your head as a “what if?” and if you never break free from your comfort zone, you’ll never push boundaries.
  • Think in the wider context: It’s easy to get caught up in the details or in one specific idea, but you need to remember to step back and evaluate how things compare against the ultimate goals and future considerations of the brand.

E: cmrngiles@gmail.com
P: 403.826.9530