The White Elephant’s New Clothes

While the legalities, industrial actions and politics regarding the closure of Petrotrin raged on – two new companies were raised from the ashes of the razed State Company – the Heritage Petroleum Company and the Paria Fuel Trading Company. Ad world has been quiet as to how and where these ads originated from but what the appearance of these two, fully-designed brands reflect, is that the idea to close Petrotrin and embrace a new direction were a little longer in the making than the politicians let on. Here’s a quick look at both:


Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 09.28.03Embracing the drill bit in this design is really a little on the nose when it comes to design for an icon, but it works as the hard image is softened with shadows and dimensions and more importantly can really transfer across screens, screen prints and print ads. The colours work, font and combinations of upper and lower lettering work well too. The choice of what is close to a Blue Jay for the darker tones and what is close to a Valentine red are subtle choices and a nice balance of an ode to the sea and the country’s heritage at once. The issues of politics aside, we really like the new logo. It’s modern with just enough of a Caribbean nod in font work and industry alignment via the icon.



Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 09.28.18

At least it’s not a f*cking Scarlet Ibis. I suppose going with a pelican for an oil company was too risky, so they went with it for the fuel trading company. The common font carried across with a switch to Forest greens and dark oranges for colour and context and the mix of upper and lower case followed through too. This logo has less power and punch than the previous despite the use of bolder colours – which is odd. As is the choice of a marine animal for a fossil fuel trading company. But I mean grill places in T&T love to use pigs as mascots and KFC famously had Chicky, who I loved, till i found out at just 9 years of age, I had probably eaten him and that’s why he was removed as the mascot.

The Press Ads

Both ads reflect the new values and raisons d’être for the new companies, with wordy explanations, title text, header text and paragraph text. So it’s a lot. The idea behind this no doubt is a mix of quell-the-masses crisis management, assuage the population PR and get the word out advertising. If you take the time to read, you will find lengthy reasons for the changes but key among the points is that both companies intend to leverage their human capital and expertise in logistics and exploration to lead to profitability.

On another note, we just have to ask, with all the effort and energy being expended to transform the fossil fuel energy, where is the political will to really make a move to renewable energy for an island inundated by sun and wind year round? Perhaps they could have commissioned their design team/firm to slap a Scarlet Ibis and sun together and create a whole new logo and company that can lead us to somewhere that really matters – ya know, the future?

Just an idea. We’re kidding on the Ibis, btw.






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