By Amy Fendley
A new identity and a new face was the impetus for Whistler Blackcomb’s new logo. "The Whoosh" which was introduced last week.
From Garibaldi Lifts Ltd., to Garibaldi’s Whistler Mountain, to Whistler Mountain, and Blackcomb Mountain; from Aspen leaves to ‘hamburger’ and peak logos, to ‘Above All’ and ‘Forever and Ever’, ‘Anything is Possible’, and ‘Higher Ground.’ And now a logo that has been identified as a pair of goggles, a loon, a ‘W’, or two mountains and a boomerang.
Whistler-Blackcomb paid five of Vancouver’s top design firms $1,000 to submit their best logos. With more than 20 concepts presented, David Perry, vice president of marketing and sales for Whistler-Blackcomb, says the choice was difficult.
Jim Budge of Bazooka Information Design created the winning design, and after extensive tweaking and phattening, the judges came back to the original design which had caught their attention.
"Just for fun we named it The Whoosh," says Perry. "We selected the design based on its elements of curve and shape. The fluid movement associated with mountain sports, with snow tracks, glacial curves, rivers, the Sea to Sky highway and mountain bike tracks.
"It’s active, clean, simple, contemporary, stylish, distinctive, but not trendy," claims Perry. "It’s more abstract than literal. If there’s no depth, people see it and forget about it. If they can see different applications in it, they are prone not to forget it."
The entire Whoosh logo is silver, black and ‘natural pigment’ red. Colours representative of weather, strength and Canadian pride.
Whistler Blackcomb spent $30,000 on its development and launch.
The yellow, black and white Higher Ground logo was designed for interim use after the Whistler-Blackcomb merger, two years ago.
"Higher Ground was the perfect logo for those two years," says Perry. "The original intention was to design a logo for interim use after the merger. It was originally designed in conjunction with the Whistler Resort Association, and has since become very popular.
"We’re not going to tear down and replace all of the old logos, we’re not going on a huge purge; we’ll do it gradually as we renew and replace things," says Perry. "We don’t hide from our history."
Perry says that with regards to the Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain logos on respective gondolas, lifts and buildings, they’ll stay, to help identify location. He rationalizes that now, the end of the millennium, is the perfect time to go into the marketplace with a new logo.
The question that remains unanswered and which is still being discussed, is whether the WRA and the municipality are going to adopt The Whoosh.
The WRA is currently going through a process to change its logo.
"The WRA and the Resort Municipality of Whistler are evaluating a logo," said Barrett Fisher, vice president of marketing and sales for the WRA. "And the WRA, Whistler Blackcomb and the RMOW are still discussing the potential for one logo for the whole resort, and a partnership together. "There are pros and cons," says Fisher. "Individual logos identify companies, and if we go into the international marketplace with one logo, one brand, one voice, it’s clearer to the consumer. That’s where we’re at, at this point."
The RMOW is also stuck at that point.
"We’ve looked at the concept of having a shared wordmark, and it will probably provide a less confusing image to our customers," says Jim Godfrey, RMOW administrator. "We all work closely together. If someone has a poor experience on the mountain, or on the valley trail, it’s bad for all of Whistler. It’s seamless."
With the new millennium approaching, even Cypress Bowl Ski Area felt it necessary to change its logo. In May Cypress changed its name from Cypress Bowl Ski Area to Cypress Mountain. A new logo followed.
"Our logo was designed in-house," says Matthew Broadbent, marketing manager of Cypress Mountain. "It represents the three mountains, Black Mountain, Mount Strachan, and Mount Hollyburn. We launched our logo in time for our summer program. We changed our name particularly for the tourist market, who identify ‘bowl’ with cereal bowl, toilet bowl, to them Cypress ‘Bowl’ doesn’t mean much. As we head towards some major development, this was necessary."