With every great business, you will always find a great logo with it. Apple, Facebook and McDonalds are all examples of companies with logos who are just about up there with my Ollie’s Tours logo - up there with the best.
With every logo, I would like to think there is some sort of story or meaning behind the logo. The Nike swoosh was designed to symbolise passing somebody out in a race. The Ollie’s Tours logo is no different. Let me explain:
While studying in Munich University of Applied Sciences, I worked part time as a tour guide with Radius Tours. Throughout this time I had a dream of opening my own tour business. I never second guessed the name. It was always going to be Ollie’s Tours. Why? Because I thought it sounded cool to have my name on the business’ front door. My days would consist of studying and giving tours of beautiful Neuschwanstein castle. Anyone who ever came on a tour with me can back me up here, I nearly always brought up Ollie’s Tours.
I would be telling people who I am going to do this, that and 100 other things. Ollie’s Tours would be the next big thing (Getting there- Slowly slowly). I would ask questions to the tourists. I wanted to know what they liked and didn’t like about travelling and most importantly, what makes a good tour. I didn’t realise it back then, as these were just friendly conversations I was having to pass the 4 hour train commute, but I was actually doing market research.
The thing is, those tourists would only know me for one day. They would hear about Ollie’s Tours and probably never hear from me again, until they see me in 10 years on the fortune 500 list that is. My lovely girlfriend Joanna on the other hand, she would hear about Ollie’s Tours on a daily basis. Now as I was in Germany, I couldn’t really do much in terms of setting up an Irish tour business, but I could annoy her about the idea.
I think I annoyed her so much that I drilled the idea of an ‘All Irish Tour’ ,as I called it back then, into her head. One day she handed me this. It’s been in my wallet since she gave it to me back in 2016 so excuse the quality. If you look closely, you can see a globe in the shape of a Sliotar (A ball used to play Hurling)
I loved it from the moment I saw it. It suited me and it suited the business. It suited where the business was at and it suited where the business is going but we will talk more about that later. I liked it and set about making it into a digital logo. Mistake #1: I thought I could teach myself photoshop and recreate this ‘post it note’ masterpiece myself.
Ladies and gentelmen, this was my best effort. 3-4 weeks of practicing photoshop everyday produced this.
It is safe to say it wouldn’t be my finest work of art. Nevertheless, it still conveyed the message. The message I wanted the Ollie’s Tours logo to convey is as following. Ollie’s Tours would serve the world. People from everywhere come to visit Ireland. I have had visitors from Japan, Australia, Argentina, Russia, and I even had a couple from Cork (Lovely people). But it also represents where I want to bring the business which is everywhere. I want to bring Ollie’s Tour to every corner on the globe so that when people say “I did an Ollie’s Tour”, others will respond, “cool I heard they are excellent” .
The Sliotar (Hurling Ball) represents the country and the culture of Ireland. I want people to not take too much notice of the logo until they do a tour and then have the lightbulb moment afterwards having held and learned about the sport. Most of all, if I am so lucky in the future to go international, the sliotar will represent the proud irish routes of the company.
So there you have it. The story behind the logo. Looking forward to meeting a thousand new faces this season.