Andrew Uncharted's main value statements, helping average people travel cheap, far, and wide

Andrew Uncharted

Creative Direction Case Study

Andrew Uncharted is a pet project of mine that I've created from the ground up over the past several years. It's a travel brand focused on sharing my experiences as I backpack around the world. Among other things, I write about my travel experiences, manage all social media channels, sell adventure photo and canvas prints, and offer Lightroom photo editing presets.This is Andrew Uncharted 🏕

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Andrew in Scotland during his backpacking trip around the world.
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Behind Andrew Uncharted

It’s a little weird explaining the inner workings on something that's been so personal to me. Andrew Uncharted is a multitude of things. A Frankenstein's monster. At the time of writing this Case Study, Andrew Uncharted is a multi-faceted travel brand that focuses on documenting my travels as I backpack around the world, building a dedicated travel community, selling adventure photo prints and Lightroom editing presets, and talking about travel-based topics that I find important.

Long list right? That’s what happens when you have to come up with an idea from scratch; you wear many hats. From web design to email marketing, from content creation to social media interaction, it’s all required to get Andrew Uncharted off the ground. I’ll be focusing specifically on my work for the branding, general creative direction, and social media marketing. I view Andrew Uncharted as my ongoing capstone project; it forces me to continuously evolve and improve my skills.

What I do for AU

  • Creative Direction
  • Branding & Logo Design
  • Web Design
  • Social Media Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Writing

Branding & Logo Design

When I was thinking of an idea for what to call my fledgling travel site, I got hung up on the name. There were a multitude of bad ideas, like Andy Wanders or Andrew Abroad. None of them really had that oomf, y’know?

In a moment of frustration, I turned to one of my favorite video games, Uncharted 4 on the Playstation 4. This was a game about travel, adventure, and hunting treasure. As I was playing, the idea for, “Andrew Uncharted,” popped into my head. It was too perfect, so I immediately shut off the game and started sketching.

Since it would be a brand focused around my travels, it needed to have a personal touch mixed with an adventurous feel. After toying with dozens of type experiments, the combination of, “Andrew,” in a script font and, “Uncharted,” in a more rugged, weathered sans-serif hit the sweet spot. The next step was to decide on colors.

Andrew Uncharted logo design concepts
Andrew Uncharted logo design concepts

Based on color psychology, the white / gray for the script and green for the weathered sans-serif font made the most sense. The neutrally colored script would be my personal experience overlayed on top of the actual adventures, symbolized by the sans-serif.

The color green is psychologically a happy color, but it symbolizes more than that. A vibrant green symbolizes growth, friendliness, emotional calmness, and nature. Since I wanted my brand and my adventure to personify these emotions and ideals, choosing green as the primary accent color just made sense. Plus, it looks pretty damn good, if I say so myself.

Andrew Santoro - a digital nomad company based on both remote web design work and travel-related content

Creative Direction

The next step was making sure that my newly minted travel company had a consistent identity across all channels. Besides my website, I was primarily active on Instagram with YouTube coming later down the road. I wanted that vibrant green color to be used sparingly so it grabbed the user’s attention. Combining that with using the script font primarily as that green color, it gives a unique, instantly recognizable look to the content I produce.

In order to not overuse both fonts from the logo, I adopted the sans-serif typeface Montserrat as the main typographic workhorse. This versatile, modern font comprises 90% of my travel website and related creative designs. The wide variety of weights along with its uniform, all-caps letter shape allows for some interesting interactions with the script typeface.

Along with consistent typography, having a set image editing style was a necessary adaption in order to keep brand consistency. In times where text wouldn’t be present (most often on Instagram), my work needed to stand out on its own. My normal editing style is darker and moodier than most travel photographers & influencers. After doing a bit of competitive research, I saw my natural editing instincts as a way to help differentiate me from the pack. It’s great when your natural inclinations match up with your business objectives, y’know?

A photo of a hillside house in Lake Como, Italy
A shot of Andrew in the famous Toledo Station in Naples, Italy
A misty photo of Stac Pollaidh in the Scottish Highlands

Social Media Management

The final major component of Andrew Uncharted is Social Media Management. Besides my website, I primarily disseminate content through two major channels: Instagram and Pinterest. The Instagram account has been in existence since I started Andrew Uncharted a year and a half ago. The Pinterest account, however, has only been a focus since May of 2020.

Andrew Uncharted website
Andrew Uncharted Instagram account
Andrew Uncharted Pinterest account

I’ve developed a social media strategy for Instagram primarily through trial and error. A few techniques I’ve started using are: only posting what I’m excited about, sharing my life and travels authentically through my posts and stories, and interacting with each person like they’re my friend. Just treating people like human beings, y’know?

With Pinterest, I have my boards broken down into my interests and how they relate to travel. Then, I make it a point to pin a bunch each day and post my own custom pins every 2-3 days. That tactic’s given me a 700% increase in impressions this month! On my website, I write a post when I have something to say, but I’m stylistically updating it all the time. So keep coming back!

6,369

Monthly Website Visitors

+155%

Instagram Interaction

92,500

Pinterest Impressions / Mo

These are some of the many hats I wear in growing this travel brand of mine. If you want to view the different Andrew Uncharted properties, the links are below. Cheers!

Andrew Uncharted Website & Social Media

Andrew Uncharted Website
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Get in Touch

Whether you’re looking for a full-time addition to your creative team, or are a small business looking for a multi-faceted Designer to help shape your company, I’m your man! You can reach out using the form below or by sending me a direct email. I look forward to hearing from you!

My Email

santoro.andrewj@gmail.com
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