Brand Oman

I’m not much into branding – especially for countries – but even I quite like this logo, devised to promote Oman and unveiled late last year.

The beauty of it is that it doesn’t need any explanation: the swirls and shapes have an arabesque feel to them already, so even without the text you could guess that this was something to do with Arabia.

The curls and coils hint at the prow of a ship moving through the waves, evoking Oman’s maritime heritage. And they double up as wisps of smoke, evoking the importance of frankincense and perfumes in Omani culture.

Cleverest of all, those four coloured wisps spell out ‘Oman’ in Arabic: an ayn (‘o’) on the right, the twine at the bottom making a meem (‘m’), then a blue alif (‘a’) and a curly noon (‘n’) top left.

I could do without the blobby, excessively expanded English font – something a little more universal, and a little less contemporary metropolitan, might have been nice – but it’s a small quibble.

To my mind, this Omani logo is an unexpected success: atmospheric, interesting and attractive.

Rather like the country itself.