Andrew Uncharted is a pet project of mine. It's a multitude of things, actually. It started off as just a blog, but it's branched out into multiple social media avenues, primarily Instagram and YouTube. As of writing this, Andrew Uncharted is a multi-faceted travel brand that focuses on documenting my travels as I backpack around the world, while also building a dedicated travel community and talking about travel-based topics that I find important.
What I do for Andrew Uncharted
Branding | Creative Direction | Social Media Management
It's actually quite a bit more than that, with responsibilities such as Video Direction, Video Editing, Front End Development, and Email Marketing taking up good chunks of my time as well. I just didn't want a list a mile long.
Coming up with an idea like this from scratch requires you to wear many hats. From web design to email marketing, from content creation to social media interaction, it's all on you. That's why I view Andrew Uncharted as my ongoing capstone project. It forces me to continuously evolve and improve my skills.
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.
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 green 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.
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 website and creative designs. The wide variety of weights along with its uniform, all-caps lettershape 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. Now, my normal, preferred 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?
Social Media Management
The final major component of Andrew Uncharted is Social Media Management. Besides my website, I primarily dissimenate content through two major channels: Instagram and YouTube. The Instagram account has been in existence since I started Andrew Uncharted a year and a half ago. The YouTube channel, however, was created about a month before I left for this trip (mid-2019). The three components of Andrew Uncharted - the website, Instagram, and YouTube - serve different purposes.
The YouTube channel is still in its infancy, so growth has come primarily from word-of-mouth and sharing with my Instagram followers. The channel is growing slowly but surely, so check back (or Subscribe) to see how it's doing!
I've developed a social media strategy for Instagram primarily through trial and error. Instead of utilizing the common, spammy behavior that's so prevalent on the platform, I simply started interacting with my audience and my peers as if they were my friends. Having a one-to-one human conversation with someone builds a much stronger connection to you as a person instead of you as a brand. Plus, we're all humans. We should be cool to one another.
Another important tactic in Instagram growth was starting to uilize the Instagram Story feature on a daily basis. Doing so has helped me stay connected with my audience while also keeping my content fresh in the user's minds. Plus, it cements my name and personality to the brand Andrew Uncharted.
Finally, scaling back on the post frequency has had quite a bit of success. I've moved away from posting every day and only putting up photos when I have content I'm truly proud of. When combining my best photography work with a long, thoughtful caption, it makes for more meaningful content for my audience (I'm going to start calling them friends).
Using this interaction module over the past year, Andrew Uncharted's interaction rate organically grown by 155%
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!