Logo for Explore Vava’u, an adventure sports brand based on Mandala Island, Tonga


Mandala Island Resort

What we did

Logo design

The Challenge

Mandala island resort approached the brand cafe to come up with a logo for the adventure sports division of the business. This new brand needed to convey fun, with a professional feel and would envelop all activities the resort offer from underwater scooter tours to snorkeling with humpback whales. The logo needed to be easy to reproduce as it was to be used across all of the brand’s marketing from t-shirts, promo videos and flyers, to their store front and their (coming soon) whale tours boat.


With so many amazing tours the island had to offer it was going to be a difficult task. The project started with researching Mandala Island and then onto researching the adventure sports they offer. The island’s homely feel, friendly owners and outstanding dedication to making their guests happy see people return year after year to this small island paradise. But ultimately the thing that draws people to this remote part of Tonga is the humpback whale season. It is the busiest time of year in terms of visiting guests, with June to September welcoming the whales back from the Antarctic to give birth to their calves in the warm waters and sheltered bays of the of the Tongan islands, giving tourists the opportunity to snorkel with these majestic creatures.

The Result

Given the research, it felt fitting that the island and the whales, the core aspects of the business, were to be included in the logo. Playing around with the elements resulted in fun twists. Words flowed into a whale’s ventral pleats (throat pleats) which also became the waves lapping at the shore of Mandala island – also the head of the whale. The whale’s pectoral fin doubled as the apostrophe in Vava’u, and what holiday to the tropics is complete without a palm tree and barefoot beach walking.

Brand colours

Photos of the island and it’s activities became the mood board. The colours almost chose themselves with common colouring running through most of the images we took. Blue and turquoise just seemed the logical choice.

Vava’u Blue