Rebranding Adventure: A Case Study

I love rebranding efforts. They’re like the first day of school or New Year’s Day – an opportunity to show who you really are (and are going to be). And you’ve got to get your new brand right the first time – just like the first day of school, you only have one chance to make a first impression. One of the things I do to keep my own rebranding skills sharp is to pay attention to great work being done all over the world.

Take for example, the rebrand of Monaco’s Silversea luxury cruise line by the London-based firm, The Partners. One of the things they had to do was condense all of Silversea’s existing marketing and signage elements into a unified, complete brand package.

Silversea Expeditions rebrand

I love the balance of the striking photos, engaging type and concise copywriting with the almost ‘basic’ nature of the color palette and brand elements. This approach almost makes the design serve as a backdrop for the trip, enhancing the fact that the trip and the destination are most important to this organization. And take a look at the Sea Level marking on the ship; it gives the viewer a sense of place, communicating that they are actually somewhere unique and exciting.

Overall, this polished, high-end execution looks and feels like something that belongs on a luxury cruise.

Silversea caters to people who are paying for an adventure, not just a trip, and the new brand sells this attitude well. The designers’ bold use of type inside the photographs provides a very dramatic effect and draws attention to their wonderful, artistic images. These images don’t look like vacation snapshots. They look like the kind of images that would be captured by a high-end photographer on a trip of a lifetime. The use of tongue-in-cheek humor keeps the imagery from coming across as self-important or pretentious. For instance, look at the physical string on a tag standing in for the climber’s rope, and the sleeping polar bear on the “Do Not Disturb” hang tag).

Silversea Expeditions rebrand

This bold, clever choice works here because as much as Silversea’s brand must communicate the kind of high-end adventure available only to a select few, all vacations should still be fun!

Most exciting for me as a Creative Director is the potential that this campaign suggests for future communications. Almost every individual element could be expanded into a broader campaign. Think, for instance, about the ‘Escape Route’ layout.

Silversea Expeditions rebrand

There’s a certain sense of disruption in the Escape Route layout which adds a lot of visual interest. I can easily see how this direction could play out on anything from room keys and menus to additional way-finding signage. Likewise, I’d be interested to see the playful images of the still and sparkling bottle labels expand to connect other dining materials (menus, etc). with the experience of the cruise.

Silversea Expeditions rebrand

The possibilities are wide open – as they should be for any excellent rebranding adventure.