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Activate Design Limited

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Making Trax is a unique NZ tourism venture offering outdoor adventures for people with disabilities.
Jezza Williams, CEO and professional adventure guide, asked me to design a brand for his ambitious idea after becoming a tetraplegic in a freak canyoning accident!
Jezza wanted a simple empowering logomark that communicates New Zealand adventure sports for the disabled persons; ‘Who don’t want to just sit by and watch!’


jon tarr profile pic

Jon Tarr - Design Commentary

Jezza's ambition was to challenge what it means to be disabled. I decided to design a alt version of the universal disabled symbol, one that would convey; Outdoor Adventure Sport, Excitement, Strength, Defiance, Unity, Ability, Empowerment — for disabled persons. 

The universal symbol for disability is a person in a chair and it is instantly understandable; but the connotations are sedate and unadventurous. The person sits upright in a wheelchair, hands on their lap.. staid and motionless. We wanted the opposite of that. 

I would also incorporate a koru design as part of the logo. As a recognized symbol of New Zealand, it symbolizes new life, growth, strength and peace. Its shape “conveys the idea of perpetual movement.”— which is ideal. 

I was also inspired watching the London 2012 Paralympic Games which happened to be on at the time.  Overcoming the odds and raising a single, clenched fist as a salute to unity, strength, defiance and solidarity. 

making trax inclusive tourism

making trax logo design inspiration

making trax logo design inspiration

making trax logo design sketch

making trax logo design sketch

I roughed out a bunch of early sketches just to get my idea down initially. And eventually the mark started to take shape as to how I wanted it.

The koru would become the wheelchair simultaneously conveying NZ and the ideas of growth, new live and movement.

The persons torso would lean forward in earnest. The head tiled back with chin up and a fist raised in adventure and defiance. It needed to stay simple and understandable. 

Once I had the design mostly drawn up. I then started over, applying principles of the golden ratio 1.618 where I found opportunities.  This mathematical formula is the ratio between various elements which gives an aesthetically balance.

There were opportunities here between the ‘torso’ and the ‘wheelchair.’ Within the koru spiral itself. In the arms and  between the first and the head. 

I find this practice is often the difference between something which just looks right and something which looks unbalanced and unfinished. 

making trax logo design

making trax inclusive tourism world stage

making trax new zealand logo design

making trax inclusive tourism

making trax website design

The Makingtrax logomark became the symbol of Inclusive Tourism New Zealand. A movement to ensure the social participation of persons with disabilities, in travel, adventure and cultural contribution. Opening the tourism industry to everyBODY. 

It has been seen on the worlds stage as New Zealand makes its mark in inclusive tourism. Such as the World Summit on Accessible Tourism in Brussels 2018.  

We have also supported the Makingtrax Foundation by developing their website. This acts as a educational platform and includes;  equipment hire and online shop, adventure bookings, donations, events, resources etc. There is also a Directory of Inclusive Activities. Tourism operators can sign up to become members and be able to login and mange their directory listings through the website.  

making trax inclusive tourism new zeland

"Our Makingtrax logo designed by Jon from Activate, represents what our company is about as New Zealand's Adaptive Adventure Travel Specialists & Inclusive Tourism Experts.

It shows action and energy with culture through the koru. It stands out and is very easily recognised. We use the logo on all our media and also as a "seal of approval" for adventure tourism companies to display representing their support of Inclusive Tourism. We absolutely love our logo it represents Makingtrax perfectly."

Jezza Williams CEO - Makingtrax