That is: the composite image you see in the top left corner of this website. First of all, here is the same image for you to behold, before I add a few explanatory remarks about it:
I put the logo together from photos
I took on my own dark travels. They've been converted into black and white, then solarized, merged and trimmed but otherwise only mildly photo-shopped.
There are three images merged together in this logo, and these show, from left to right:
a) the chimney stack on top of the (old) sarcophagus around reactor 4 in Chernobyl
– which gave the world the worst ever civilian industrial accident (at least until Fukoshima – see Japan
). The footage of the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986 and all coverage ever since had always involved this image. It's one of the world's most instantly recognizable dark images. And because you can indeed travel to Chernobyl, in an extreme form of nuclear tourism
, it is also iconic for dark tourism itself. UPDATE: however, this chimney stack is no more! As part of the new safety confinement under construction at the Chernobyl site, the chimneys of blocks 3 and 4 had to be dismantled at the end of 2013. So this part of my logo is now sadly outdated.
b) the lower middle bit is the gatehouse, watchtower and ramp of Auschwitz-Birkenau
, arguably the darkest place in world history. It's even more of an icon for dark tourism – and the image has been used for illustrating the concept before, most notably on the cover of the book "Dark Tourism" by Lennon/Foley
. It just had to be choice No. 1.
c) on the right-hand side is another iconic image – that of the A-Bomb Dome
, site of one of the world's greatest war-related tragedies, THE
icon for the beginning of the nuclear age, a turning point, finishing off WWII
with a bang and the starting whistle for the Cold War
– and today a major tourist destination.
All three images are for dark tourism something like what the Eiffel Tower in Paris
or the Pyramids in Egypt or the Colosseum in Rome are for tourism in general. They are not only instantly recognizable, they stand quasi-symbolically for tourism as a whole. For the logo of the website about the special branch of niche tourism that is called dark tourism, I wanted something that could serve as an equivalent. And that could not have been achieved so easily with just a single image (or most other images – few have the same degree of iconic power as these do).
If you see a picture of the Eiffel Tower/Pyramids/Colosseum together, this instantly triggers associations with travel. Any of them alone, however, may only trigger the association with the respective country or culture, but the cluster means: tourism. That's why I wanted a similar cluster that doesn't just mean, e.g. "Holocaust" (in the case of the middle image of Auschwitz), but as a cluster means: dark destinations! Or at least that's how I hope it works.
The website's name/URL written across the logo's middle just secures the association with this specialist tourism and kind of labels the "product".
I also didn't want to overload the logo either, so I left it at just these – incidentally: at the same time these are also the top three sites on the list of the top-20 dark destinations
in the world!
Finally, as for the colours – what else could it have been other than black and grey for the background setting and blood red in the foreground? Come on … some colour symbolism is just too strong to resist ;-)