A lot of people involved in the creative industries, and we at FD are no exception, are avid travellers. We enjoy the thrill of exploring new cultures much in the same way we enjoy finding that new design inspiration or piece of art that really makes us tick and want to move on to the next thing. We’ve all separately travelled to various areas of the world at different times, but there are definitely some common themes between travel and what we do day to day.
It doesn’t take long on Pinterest to find where people’s travel and design inspiration comes from. From ancient scrapbooks to little doodles posted while en route to the next destination – there’s no doubt that travel and exploration sparks creativity.
Here are a few themes that help us understand how the worlds of travel and design are intrinsically linked.
A strong dependency on message and appearance
The art of selling a travel destination is the idea of marketing an experience or a feeling. Getting design right is no exception, if you do it right it will convey the right emotion, in the right place, at the right time. Together, the effect can be powerful.
Virgin Atlantic are an airline with a strong message. Since their inception in the 1980s, they have had a signature look and attitude towards the airline industry (their famous battle with British Airways proves that pushing the boundaries in both business and branding is sometimes not the worst thing to be remembered for…). This has stood them in good stead as a challenger company, with a rebrand in 2010 defining a modern, sleek look for the new generation.
Inspire through design
Anything that enables us to see the world in a different way and motivates us to approach things in a fresh and creative manner is important and inspiring. The design and travel industries can do this, but they also do it when they work together, with innovative solutions being backed up by modern approaches to identity and branding. The Airbnb rebrand by Design Studio is a good example of a new company and a fresh approach to travel being backed up by a unique, approachable and instantly recognisable identity.
To fully get the best out of any travel experience, total immersion is key, diving in to the country, the culture and the lifestyle. It’s no different in any branding exercise, and especially within the travel industry fully understanding the destination and what the company behind those destinations is trying to achieve is key to getting the right look and feel. To reiterate the point, here’s Design Studio’s Paul Stafford talking to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on the need to understand every element of their company.
It’s about collective connections
Sometimes by far and away the best design comes out people working together. The same goes for the travel industry – connections are important and the relationships and collaborations you form with people you meet as you travel can define the direction of your life let alone your career. People who work across both sectors believe and understand this, and it’s one reason the two industries often work so well together. That, and the nomadic lifestyle of most adventurers mean that they are well adept that turning their hand to unconventional working practises, hours, routines and design requests that our industry sometimes demands.
Travel as art and lifestyle
There is an intrinsic creativity to travel – finding and exploring the right path, and letting your freedom dictate it. The rise of travel and art as intwined industries has come to the fore in recent years, with the emergence of brands such as Finisterre, who twin an ethical approach to travel with an appreciation of art, design, photography, filmmaking and the individual creativity within people that buy their products.
Not being afraid to ask the big questions
The best rebrands and redesigns require complex questions to be answered. They need a strategy and a structure but they also need bravery and the ability to challenge and question existing conventions. Good travel is the same. It’s all very well to plan, but what happens when the plans fail or there is no other way? There is a certain amount of risk involved in both designing in an industry and for an industry, and travelling to unknown corners of the world.
To finish, Here are selection of well known adventurers on Avaunt Magazine talking about risks and what travel and adventure means to them.
What is Adventure? from Avaunt Magazine on Vimeo.
We’ve seen in recent times, as covered in our article on the rebranding of the British countryside, a move towards a greater assimilation between travel and art and design. In fact, an increased appreciation amongst society for how things should look and feel rather than how they convey a sales message has meant many design agencies have seen an increase in work of this nature.
Have you seen a rebrand or a revised look and feel of a company with travel and adventure at its heart? We’d love to know and it’d be great to get your thoughts on the links between art & design and travel. Say hello on Twitter!