The purpose of Brand Scotland, and its partners, is to bring together communicators from across Scotland to join up their work, and target audiences in a united and consistent way – increasing the impact of all the work across any and every iteration.
The challenge of this project was creating a uniquely Scottish marque that will represent Scotland’s core values on the international stage. A Scotland which is progressive, welcoming, pioneering, determined and has generosity of spirit and creativity.
To prepare our proposal, we organised several workshops with the different stakeholders and users from key markets. This research told us that motifs such as thistles, tartan and the saltire resonated strongly and positively with audiences globally in relation to Scotland. The thistle being the most recognisable emblem, closely followed by tartan.
Our design development aimed to layer these two motifs into a single icon. The result being uniquely and inherently Scottish but with a contemporary and enduring nature.

Done by me and 2 other members from the internal design team at VisitScotland, in collaboration with Leith Agency.

The design uses a strong stem to both ground the logo and add a positive upward dynamic – literally introducing an organic, growing quality.
The hatching of the tartan is suggested in the way the woven diagonals interact under and over one another ending in the iconic crown shape of the thistles.
The vibrant colours accentuate the dynamism of the brand and the gradient supports the idea of growth.
Hot pink and navy blue are Scotland’s most representative colours.
To expand the colour palette we looked into the colours of the Scottish landscapes, cities and cultural heritage.
The Scottish Government suggested that Leith Agency would be a good and neutral addition to complete the project. They introduced a new style to represent the thistle, giving the icon a more handmade feeling but keeping the word marque and the colour palette we designed to complete the final identity.

Leith agency

Brand Scotland Leith's agency logo
Brand Scotland advert at Edinburgh Airport