This project is a cooperation between Symphony Themes and ITFS (a local web development firm). Our Symphony team took care of the design part while ITFS was responsbile for the Drupal solution.

In this article, I will only mention about the design part.

About the customer

Exotic Voyages is a startup tourist team of committed people who have been in the tourism industry for almost 20 years. After a long time serving in the industry as a local partners of many US and Europe tourist agents, a group of specialists decided to establish a new business which aims at direct relationships with end-customers. Exotic Voyages offer customized trips to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, luxury Indochina trips specialize in cultural visits, history, exploring spectacular landscape and natural wonders.

Design & Theming

Exotic Voyages homepage

Challenge: the client insisted that he does not want to have so many information. Since the services are luxury travels and targeted customers are mostly mid age, he requested that the layout should be simple and attractive enough for impatient readers. It should fit into an iPad screen without scrolling most of the time. Big screen users mind it, but we want something as clean as possible.

For design part, the client seek for helps from Symphony Themes designers. The outcome is a minium layout design reserving spaces for old painting like pictures. It brings a flavor of the ancient old time and somewhat mystery, urging people to discover.

The home page does not have many text, it is hard for SEO. However, to meet the client demands, we still preserve this layout.


We also designed a brochure for Exotic Voyages. To display our brochure nicely, we adopt ISSUU. One problem is ISSUU turns the pdf brochure to flash, and it can not be displayed on iPad or iPhone. We hope there would be a coming solution to support all devices. 

Exotic Voyages brochure - Halong Bay


The project was a success with high satisfaction from the client for both the design part from Symphony Themes and the Drupal solution from ITFS.



Nice designs and goos

Nice designs and goos services, I must say.

Left cold

Contrast in the descriptive part of the main menu is awful. In fact contrast throughout the site is terrible. Very difficult to read. And I can't believe anyone in their right mind signed off on the footer links, which ride up over some of the images in the image slider.

the test in the scroll box to

the test in the scroll box to the right of the images is difficult to read.

It is true. This box has the

It is true. This box has the opacity of 80% so you can see some of the background. The text is a little bit difficult to read then.
Actually, the box serves more for SEO, because you can click to Highlights to explore more about each country.

If it's more for SEO then why

If it's more for SEO then why make the visitor suffer? You've got mere seconds to wow the visitor and get him/her to spend more time perusing your site, so make it visually appealing and uncluttered. Flash is out, dead, and gone to meet it's maker. SEO is important but the customer experience reigns supreme.

Although the customer (or the design firm, ITFS) surely dictated this, the grainy sepia colored background is ugly and doesn't exactly entice me to visit any of these places, and I live in Thailand and have been to Laos many times - it's verdant, not brown. Get the customer to fix the numerous typos and bad English while you're at it.

All the great Drupal technology notwhithstanding, the graphics are awful, depressing even, but maybe it's the image of exotic, luxury travel in a land of extreme poverty and hardship that's so unappealing. If you really want to know these countries and cultures, go down and dirty cheap and eschew the fancy hotels.

Druplicate, I understand your


I understand your points and feedback to the client

-  About the flash: it should be replaced by something else. I completely agree and thanks for your link, I will propose to use slideshows, some what like what I did with my photography themes:

- Typos and English: the American marketing team should take care of it.

- Other graphic design: I may propose some solutions to the client, see what they think.

About poverty in those countries, I am not in the tourism business, but I can tell it basing on my experiences. A hundred years ago, when the French dominated Vietnam, local residents there were poor. But still there were Sofitel Metropol, some kind of 5 star hotels for rich people. Nowadays, in those poor countries, there are still luxury stuffs for those who enjoy them.
We can't critize them for doing business for those who need it. I myself enjoy a backpack trip. I am not their customers.

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