First published June 2022 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle
Vietnam Coracle has a new logo! Fresh, clean, bold and striking, the new logo is modern and contemporary while retaining the classic imagery, colour palette and atmosphere of the original. Although the new logo is a graphic, there’s still a sense of depth and perspective: the coracle floats, the mountains recede, the dusk settles over the horizon, the water ripples reflecting the sky, mountains and coracle: a peaceful Vietnamese coastal scene.
The Story Behind the Logo’s Creation & Design
The new logo is a graphic recreation of the original Vietnam Coracle logo: a photograph of a traditional woven coracle at dusk floating in Vân Phong Bay, just off the coast of Hòn Gốm Sandbar overlooking Whale Island, in south-central Vietnam. I photographed the scene from my tent while travelling with my friend during the Tết Lunar New Year holiday, on 22 January, 2012 (the same year I started the website).
The idea and design for the new logo was conceived by Ben in September, 2021. At first, I was unsure how I felt about it. But, as the weeks passed, the design and concept grew on me. Ultimately, the new logo went through a series of adjustments and redesigns. It became a collaborative effort between Ben, myself, my dad (a graphic designer), and my friends Mariuxi (also a graphic designer working in Saigon) and Ruby (currently studying graphic design in Saigon). We have all, to varying extents, been part of the creative and technical effort to design the new graphic logo for Vietnam Coracle. It has been months in the making and we are very happy with the final version.
Now seems as good a time as any to mark a period of new beginnings with a new logo: Vietnam Coracle is approaching its 10th anniversary; it’s nearly one year since the new website design was launched; and it’s just a couple of weeks since I introduced the new contributing writers for the site. In addition, Vietnam has recently reopened its borders after two years of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. International travel has resumed and visitors are slowly starting to return to Vietnam to travel, work and live. This is (hopefully) the start of the post-pandemic era.
The coracle is an icon of Vietnam. These woven ‘basket boats’ are seen all along the nation’s coastline, used by fishermen to transport their catch from the boats to the beaches, or to lay fishing nets close to shore. As an object, coracles are symmetrical and serene, beautiful and recognizable. Coracles float and move wherever they like: they have no bow or stern. I like to think of the coracle as a metaphor for freedom of movement and independent travel. For most people, the image of a coracle on a beach or at sea can only represent one country: Vietnam. In addition to these attributes, I like the sound of the word – coracle – it’s graceful, fluid, and a play on ‘oracle’: a dispenser of advice.
In Vietnam, the coracle is a humble but graceful sight. Called simply thuyền thúng (‘basket boat’), the coracle is a testament to the hard, physical work of Vietnamese fishing communities, but also to the skill and craftsmanship necessary to produce these intricate woven vessels (not to mention the balance and strength required to steer one). However, like many aspects of traditional Vietnamese culture, woven coracles are an increasingly rare sight in Vietnam today: most fishing communities now prefer the much more durable, watertight, easier and cheaper to produce plastic coracles.
Thank you for reading & supporting Vietnam Coracle. I hope you like the new logo,
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Thank you, Tom