New branding for Center Parcs – Design Diary

The holiday park operator Center Parcs has been given a new brand identity. According to the operator, the brand’s design, including the logo, was changed to emphasize the bond with nature even more.

As the holiday park operator belonging to the French group Pierre et Vacances explained at the presentation of the new brand design, the company survived the financially difficult phase of the past two years promoted by the pandemic. “We can look back on an extremely successful year,” said Frank Daemen, head of Germany and member of the board of directors for Europe. The company plans to add Denmark as its fifth market next year. So far, Center Parcs has holiday facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

According to the company, the world has changed a lot in recent years, and with it what people want and value. “Today, our connection to each other and to the nature around us is more important than ever. Our need for togetherness has grown, and the concept of ‘family’ now includes all the people close to us.” To continue to do justice to this concern, the communication of the Center Parcs brand is also being restructured and modernized.

Center Parcs logo redesign, source: Center Parcs, image montage: German

The previous logo with a blue word mark and a depiction of a bird formed by two leaves as a figure mark was introduced in 1996. The initial letters “C” and “P” are combined with floral symbols in the new, now somewhat simpler logo. “Our new logo is bold and modern, consisting of geometric and natural shapes,” according to the company’s official description.

In addition to the logo, the redesign includes redefining the color palette, typography and redesigning illustrations, decorative graphics and icons. Unlike before, the logo can be displayed in different colors in the new brand design (see illustration).

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In direct comparison with the multicolored, playful logo from the nineties, the new logo design trimmed for reduction appears sober, almost clinically clean. However, logos are only used as solitaires and detached from the respective brand context in special cases. Whether a brand is visually attractive, inviting and attractive does not depend solely on the shape of the logo, but rather on the interaction of all relevant design elements, including colours, visual language, typography, illustration style, icons, grid/layout and logo, in this case consisting of a word mark and a figure mark.

Everyone will assess differently whether this interaction gives a positive impression in this case. At least the design fits the times. In particular, the simplicity of the figure mark and the style of the word mark can be described as contemporary. Typefaces whose letters have pronounced indentations, so-called “ink traps”, and which have extended arches/bellies (a, e, d, p, g) have recently become very popular, see Linz, Nucao, Germanen exhibition etc. This trend is reflected in the new Center Parcs logo.

That the brand design at Center Parcs is being renewed after more than a quarter of a century is understandable and makes sense. More surprising and truly remarkable is how the Pierre et Vacances group (12,000 employees) presents itself in the digital environment in 2023, namely hopelessly behind. With a brand identity that seems stuck in the 1990s and a technically outdated system in every respect (no SSL connection, lack of responsiveness). If the Spooky Award was still given, groupepvcp.com would be a contender.

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