Case Studies

Case study: Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS branding

1800s styling combined with modern graphic elements

The New Orleans Steamboat Company (NOSC), proprietors of the iconic Steamboat NATCHEZ, have added another vessel to their roster. The Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS (RCONO) will begin service soon, and I was very excited to do the logo design and style guide.

The process began with an overall brainstorming session that included some very experienced and intelligent marketers from the NOSC and Gambel Communications. We had in-depth discussions about the target audience, marketing channels and the riverboat itself.

Armed with the info gleaned from the meeting and a second branding strategy meeting, I started work on the logo. First, I studied the custom painted sternboard and nameplate signs.


Hand Painted Sternboard Sign





I created digital versions of both to get a feel for intricacies of the fonts. These vector files are also used for merchandise including hats, shirts and other gift shop items.


Sternboard with font highlights


Nameplate without font highlights


The font used on the signs was a bit too decorative for most marketing purposes, especially at smaller sizes. And even though black and gold colors are dear to every New Orleanian's heart, for consistencies sake we used a red, white & black color scheme that matched main colors of both NOSC vessels.

NATCHEZ and City of New Orleans riverboats


After researching many old riverboat signs, I knew I wanted to use a bold, block serif font as the base for the logo. I combined that with the hand scripted "City of" style that was done by the sign painters, for the final logo below.


Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS primary logo

Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS primary logo


Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS horizontal logo

Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS horizontal logo



And finally, we created the style guide, with graphic elements and patterns that can be used on social media and other digital platforms. 


Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS style guide

Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS style guide back