Logo design for Visit France

posted by Veerle Pieters
20 January 2010

Not so long ago we had the pleasure to work together with the mighty Andy Clarke from Stuff and Nonsense. He was working on a site called "Stay in Wales" and his client needed a logo for this project.

Visit France

Andy's client liked the logo very much so we had the pleasure to design another logo for a similar project called "Visit France", a site that is specialized in finding accommodation in France.

Thinking process

As you have noticed, both sites use the same design, and so it was very clear from the start that this logo should use the same design style and typography. We've used Keedy Sans in combination with a slightly modified version of Suburban (both by Emigre).

In this particular situation we didn't have to consider a black & white, or grayscale version for the creation this logo. This gave us more design freedom to work with. So we approached the same thinking path of a rather illustrative logo, just like we did for Stay in Wales.

Proposal 1

Logo design proposal: using the typical French beret in combination with the French flag.

First thing that comes to mind for the creation of this logo is obviously the French flag. Using the flag in the logo was also requested by the client and so that got us thinking of combining the flag with something typical French. One of the symbols we thought of was a beret. Another idea was to use the Eiffel tower. Although the Eiffel tower makes me think of Paris, the city, instead of France as a country. After giving that some thought we decided to pursuit the idea of a beret hat instead.

Proposal 2

Logo design proposal: applying the colors of the French flag on a simple abstract shape

What bothered me a bit in the previous proposal was that the illustration style was a bit too cartoony. We also tried something totally different and experimental: applying the colors of the French flag on a simple abstract shape. We wanted to see if this would work, but it didn't feel strong enough in the end compared to a simple flag.

Proposal 3

The proposal that did work however, was one using a brush stroke with the French flag applied to it.


Logo design proposal: using a brush stroke.

This proposal was getting in the right direction, but wasn't 'there yet'. The client felt we should give it a more typical flag shape, and we agreed. Even though we tried to come up with something different, we couldn't get around the fact that a typical flag shape was the right option. It would give the logo a more interesting shape, and it would definitely make the logo more recognizable. The link with France would be obvious and the brush line would add some uniqueness.

Process of how to use a brush stroke in with the French flag applied to it.

First try on the left and second and final try on the right

Final & approved design proposal

I played around with the brush shape and went back to the initial shape of it. Using the starting of the brush stroke for the blue part of the flag, and the ending of the stroke for the red part of the flag. I tweaked the ending lines and structure of the stroke for the red part a lot, as it seemed to have lost some balance once I applied it to the flag.

Visit France

Then lastly, the curly shape that is used for the white part of the flag is added using the Pen tool. To finish things off and to give the flag some depth and realistic feel, we applied subtle gradients to each part of the flag. I'll follow this up with a tutorial that reveals more details about the creation of this logo next week.

What we did

Brand design and consulting


  1. 1 Michał Czernow Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 02.03 pm

    Really nice one. I’m curious about the process of font choosing. Can you guys share some thoughts about it?

  2. 2 Veerle Pieters Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 11.14 am

    Michał Czernow said:

    I’m curious about the process of font choosing. Can you guys share some thoughts about it?

    That is a though one to explain to be honest. Usually we try to search for a font that would suit a project. We try to visualize in our head if the style sends out the correct message. Most typefaces have a certain personality around them and it comes down to your personal knowledge and experience to know which one. Clients taste also become a factor in this whole deciding process. Personally I have no golden rule or tip that always seems to work. I look around in the typeface shops and browse until I see something that I think could work.

  3. 3 Josh Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 01.24 pm

    Hi Veerle,

    I am an avid reader of your blog (even I didn’t comment so far) and I really love your works, but this one just didn’t work for me.

    While the brushed look idea is a nice one, the curly thing looks really dated for me. Actually I think that the first proposal with the barret looked way better and might have even worked with a brushed look.

    I really thought for a while about this one, because I don’t want to be one of those “I don’t like it persons”, but I just couldn’t come up with more constructive criticism. Maybe it’s even the font. When I saw proposal one, I immediately thought “good direction”, but “not there yet”. Maybe it’s just the “process” of seeing proposals in a certain order - someone should write his diploma thesis on this topic and research it :-)
    Maybe the first proposal always steers the way we see the next proposals (if this is the case, logo proposals shouldn’t be presented one below the other, but rather “en block” :-)

    Don’t get me wrong! I still like the logo, it was just no “Wow” for me (as your work usually is). :-)

    Keep up the good stuff - and especially your tutorials! :-)


  4. 4 Veerle Pieters Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 01.26 pm

    Josh said:

    Don’t get me wrong! I still like the logo, it was just no “Wow” for me (as your work usually is). :-)

    The thing about logo design is that all the work you do is a like a balance act to keep everybody involved happy. You balance between your own judgment and what a client suggests. In this case the client asked me to make it look more like a flag and I tried to integrate this as nice as possible. Like I mentioned before, you don’t design for your own, but to make it work for the sites purpose and to have a happy client. Big part of what we do is compromising to get an end result that everybody is happy with :)