Image by Ricardo Resende

Brand identity for a forthcoming travel website 


The Situation

Having worked with Smudgepot previously to develop a visual brand for her hospitality consulting company, the woman behind a new travel blog called The Utch reached out to garner Smudgepot's help once more. Inspired by the transformative power of travel, the desire to support small businesses and local economies, and an insatiable quest for the perfect trip-planning resource, The Utch is on a mission to shares insider recommendations and travel tips for locales across the globe. In order to become a disruptor in a relatively saturated market however, they sought a brand identity that would set them apart and ingratiate them to their target audience.

The Solution

Smudgepot developed a brand that combined the client's desire for something worldly and sophisticated, yet whimsical and approachable. Drawing inspiration from the ceramic street tiles that mark sidewalks and buildings in old Europe, and studying the work of favored sketch artists whose styles seamlessly blend the chic with playful, Smudgepot created an organic brand system for launch. Because the site we designed served primarily as an announcement for the forthcoming brand and content currently in development, the assets were constructed with the intention of growth at the backbone. The design was intended to feel enough like competitors to be familiar and intuitive, yet novel enough to excite new audience members to become brand loyalists.


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Inspired by the transformative power of travel and an insatiable quest for the perfect trip-planning resource, The Utch was conceived as a travel website for those who will do anything to escape and learn. As such, the brand sought an identity that would not only communicate a certain level of sophistication and cachet, but also congeniality. Developed to stand up to its competitors with a similar elegance and simplicity, The Utch stands out with sprinkle of playfulness via Utchie, a nickname for the client's grandmother who inspired the venture and became a character to bring vivaciousness and fun to the brand.

Website Design


Anything to Escape and Learn

Although The Utch is intended to be an online hub where travel lovers can explore before hopping on a plane (and also a resource they keep in their back pocket once they've reached their destination) the website we designed for the brand's launch was targeted towards the chefs, bloggers, journalists and tastemakers who would eventually help curate the content as opposed to the audience who would eventually consume it. The site was designed to be clean, clear and concise, giving potential contributors an idea of what is to come without divulging too much of the [sure to be tasty] secret sauce. Without branded photos or images to bring the idea to life, we relied on the brand identity to add interest to an otherwise muted site.


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