Kitzbühel: A tourism brand of the future

Situated in Tirol, Austria, Kitzbühel stands out as a premier ski destination renowned for its elegance and popularity. Every year, the Hahnenkamm mountain hosts prestigious FIS Alpine Ski World Cup events, notably the legendary Streif Downhill race. In addition to its sporting prominence, Kitzbühel also hosts festivals celebrating folk music and vintage vehicles, making it a versatile Alpine town that caters to visitors worldwide. Aiming to strengthen Kitzbühel’s attractiveness, the local authorities recently implemented a new development strategy accompanied by a fresh tourism brand identity.

As an official statement says, Kitzbühel, known for its traditional history and innovative spirit, is presenting a new identity establishing new standards in Alpine tourism where brands act not only as status symbols but as anchors for communities of values. As the borders between work and leisure are becoming more blurred, the town is committed to becoming more than just a holiday destination. “We see ourselves as an integral living and recreational space for our guests, employees, and residents.” So Kitzbühel becomes a “preferred place of being.”

The vision of the future embodied in the new branding is based on the strong points of Kitzbühel to properly meet the changing needs of future visitors, according to the Kitzbühel Tourism committee. As the organization’s representatives say, the new visual identity with its unique images marks the town’s innovative role in destination marketing.

The Chamois, the tourism brand’s distinctive symbol taken from the coat of arms of Kitzbühel, continues to play a key role in the visual identity. However, the creature’s image has been considerably revised. Instead of a whole figure standing on a rock, which had been used since the early 1980s, the new logo includes only the chamois’ head, drawn in a rather abstract manner and placed above the Kitzbühel wordmark.

The wordmark itself is executed in a different font. Unlike the previous version with playfully leaping letters, the new lettering is strictly aligned, and the umlaut dots over the “U”, topped by the chamois’ head, are recoded into a cornered detail. Additionally, the new slogan “Your Time Is Now,” in English, reveals Kitzbühel Tourism’s global orientation. At the same time, the brand also includes some Tyrolean national motifs represented, for example, by photographs of people in folk costumes.

Overall, the Kitzbühel rebranding demonstrates a rather unconventional and expressive approach, full of vital power, thanks in part to the bright red color dominating the visual identity. All of this creates an image of burning passion erupting into the future. Abandoning the traditionalist logo, the new brand offers a carefully calibrated design with great attention even to the smallest details.

With all its sharpness, brightness, and extravagance, it certainly speaks to Kitzbühel’s ambition to strengthen its image as an internationally renowned center of sports, culture, and sophisticated living. This bold redesign effort also signals the Austrian Alps’ aspiration to rival the renowned Alpine resorts of Switzerland and France.

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