Beginning the Process
When we are tasked with creating visuals (maps, stands, kiosks, educational signs) for a historic site or property, one of the first questions we ask is “Are there any established branding or identity guidelines?”
If there are, we incorporate them into everything that we do. We want our designs to fit seamlessly with the graphic language already on site. If there are no guidelines, our graphic design team is up to the challenge of creating something new. While our designs are used to inform our exhibit elements, they can also be used to inform print and web media for years to come.
Asking the Right Questions
Creating a brand for a historic site is a fun and complex process of combining the old with the new. There are so many questions to ask and explore:
What happened here? What feeling does a visitor experience when they stand in front of this farmstead? Or how do they feel walking down this 200 year old road? What can someone learn from this place? How is it being used now compared to years ago?
The Design Dimension team will work back and forth with the client to find out the answers to these questions and to make sure the graphic language of the place coincides with the site’s mission and “personality”. We are inspired by and want to embrace the uniqueness and individuality of each site!
Case Study: Blackwood Farm Park | Chapel Hill NC
We were so inspired by this historic site. The old farmhouse and other buildings still intact, a historic road, and acres of quiet scenery. The Design Dimension team met on site to receive a tour and take note of certain inspiring elements around the park. We knew we wanted to incorporate the image of the iconic barn, the farmhouse, or the bell.
During the first phase of design, the graphic design team iterated many different logo and color options — eventually narrowing it down to these four. From here, we finalized the design and used it to inform the “look and feel” of all the other signs on the park property.
If you want to see more projects where we designed the branding for a historic site, look at the AWL Nature Preserve Park, or the Roanoke Canal Trail and Museum. We’ve also incorporated established branding guidelines in many of our projects; some examples are the 100 Years of Girl Scouts Exhibit, the LORD Timeline Wall, or the Billy Graham Exhibit at the NC Museum of History.