(Est. 2013) “srprs.me gives people an unforgettable experience by letting them travel without expectations. By now, srprs.me has send over 75.000 on a surprise trip and are active in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK.” (In case that was ambiguous: First, the company name is pronounced ‘Surprise Me’; then how it works is that you tell them what kind of trip you would like and then they surprise you with a destination and accommodations a week in advance although they encourage you to not open your trip info until you get to the airport.)
Today (Mechelen, Belgium)
Srprs.me is all about onbevangenheid. That magical open-mindedness and sense of wonder we all remember wistfully but too often let go of. It’s so wonderful there isn’t even an English word for it.
So let’s create a brand identity that is just as onbevangen. A bit unusual and quirky with a touch of surreal humour, but solid and trustworthy at the same time (a srprs.trip is not cheap in any way, so trust and professionalism are key).
Visually, this results in a strange combination of round and square corners. The first as an extension of our poetic heart and positive openess to the world, the latter for a stable and trustworthy base you can build on. Having both within one custom-made typography (and a mix of illustration styles and photography on top) symbolizes the atypical and srprsing way of thinking.
Then there’s the logo. Is it a magical hat? Maybe not. You see, the point is not what’s coming out. More importantly, it’s an invitation to jump in. It’s the kind of hat a rabbit hole would wear if rabbit holes had heads.
Jump in and you will be truly amazed. So before anything else, the srprs.logo is the symbol of onbevangenheid. But hatters gonna hat, and that’s just fine as well.
Images (opinion after)
The old logo was funky in both good and bad ways — although whatever happened to the “p” is all bad — and had a kind of hipster irony that maybe worked. The new logo, it took me a minute to realize it was a magic hat but then even knowing what it was — despite the designers maybe not wanting you to see a magic hat? — I kept seeing a ticket being printed out of a machine. Its execution is perhaps too simple for its own good, which is not helped by the slightly confusing vowel-less name. The wordmark on its own (which is often used separate from the icon) does not have enough personality or uniqueness to do so, it just ends up looking like the URL written out. The overall identity has an uplifting energy with all the groovy illustrations, photos of cool places, and overly cheerful copywriting, that do the heavy lifting in this project since the logo is kind of hard to discern as a logo. Overall, I don’t feel overly surprised or onbevangenheid-ed.