Thomson Bike Tours
Thomson Bike Tours are a leading cycle tour company and the number one Official Premium Operator to the Tour de France. With an audience of avid cyclists searching for challenging rides and lasting memories in Europe and beyond, Thomson provide industry leading trips to clients in North America, Australia, Singapore and beyond.
We created a brand strategy, developed an entirely new identity and provide ongoing marketing communications to better tell the story of this exceptional cycle travel brand. Our collective ambition was to create a timeless modern brand that acknowledged a rich history of cycling but championed possibility, discovery and contemporary lifestyle with an authoritative but welcoming character.
The word marque is an important part of the new identity, elevating the brand with a timeless elegance inspired by long established family brands and the typography seen on shopfronts and cafés in Europe. For many of Thomson’s clients, especially those travelling from the US, these examples of signwriting craft are synonymous with their adventures on the famous roads of the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites.
We commissioned renowned lettering artist Rob Clarke to create the Thomson signature. This word marque becomes a seal of approval, a makers mark that guides and clients alike can be proud to associate with.
At the core of the evolution was the brand vision statement. Let’s Go Again captures the spirit at the heart of the brand and serves as inspiration, invitation and motivation. It’s a statement that captures Thomson’s unrelenting desire to perfect the trip experience; from route planning to ride leading and everything outside of that.
Let’s Go Again is motivational, encouraging guests to enjoy the rewards of mastering the challenging riding ahead with the full support of the Thomson team. Thomson’s longevity in the cycle travel industry does not diminish an passion for riding, or introducing famous climbs and unknown cols to new audiences. The vision statement captures this infectious appetite for riding and sets the tone for this positive brand.
Our approach to the visual evolution of Thomson was to create positive tone that paid respect to its spirit and expertise whilst positioning them as a confident, aspirational and future facing brand. We introduced a striking cobalt blue brand colour, evoking images of azure blue skies, to energise and inspire.
The typographic voice and style combined a heritage inspired serif typeface with a utilitarian Swiss sans serif and applied them together for a contemporary expression. With high contrast and sharp styles, the display serif shines with confidence and elegance whilst the sans-serif allows us to deliver abundant itinerary information clearly. The pairing of typefaces creates a distinct personality, equal parts beautiful and functional.
We wanted to express the opportunity for adventure and the freedom that comes with these challenging and rewarding cycling trips. The design principles that would form the refreshed brand personality stemmed from the trips themselves. White space, blocks of confident blue, a sense of narrative in the copywriting and the use of photography that you could lose yourself in.
Whilst we had access to Thomson’s extensive and ever growing catalogue of ride photography, we wanted to bring another layer of imagery to help convey information and set a mood. Along with Rob Clarke’s hand rendered logo type, Anje Jager's hand drawn illustrations were a metaphor for the craft and detail that Thomson employ in creating its trips. Used as wayfinding on the website, in digital communications and in printed matter these drawings offer a texture that elevates even the most functional information. Alongside maps and climb profiles illustrated by Owen Delaney, these hand crafted touches add an extra tactile dimension to the Thomson brand toolkit.
We designed an entirely new digital ecosystem for Thomson with the WooCommerce based website being the central hub. Designed from the ground up, the website would move the entire booking system online to streamline the sales process.
It was imperative to create an architecture for the site that allowed visitors to access a wealth of information easily and quickly. With several trips, multiple departures and three different ride levels – plus spectator only trips and B2B to consider – we had to deliver information succinctly with the ability to delve deeper.
We didn’t want to site to be an information only resource, it needed to perform on all levels; as a simple booking system, as a source of inspiration and as a place to answer all your questions about a trip. With automated emails, journal content, a climb repertory and associated social media channels all integrated, the site has become Thomson’s online brain.
Every brand touchpoint, from the completely designed WooCommerce website to cycling kit and van livery, need to convey the possibility of adventure of the highest quality in the safe and experienced hands of a passionate cycling brand.
Through myriad brand touchpoints the new brand is now worthy of the service that Thomson offer to its clients. A brand that has depth and can continuously evolve and adapt to new trips, cycling categories and locations. Thomson Bike Tours has used its heritage as a platform to become an exciting contemporary brand.
Throughout the time we've been working with Conductor they've created high quality compelling content through all of our channels. We consider Conductor as an integral part of our business and count on them 100% to manage all aspects of our future marketing strategy.