In Red Bay, the brand and the built environment are inextricably linked.
We use a modified 16th century woodcut, mixed with photographs of the current Red Bay landscape, in order to promise an experience which can actually be delivered: indoor interpretation with outdoor adventure.
At the centre of the Red Bay sign system is the "monument", relating to observation posts used by Basque sailors to spot whales coming through the Strait of Belle Isle. The monument is built as a piece of signature architecture; it is as important as other brand assets (e.g. logo, colour scheme), to be prominently shown in photographs and best seen in person.
The large monument is reflective, a highly visible beacon placed in Red Bay's sparse environment—a signature structure, intended to be seen in photographs and to contribute to Red Bay's destination promise,
These monuments, made of steel and painted black, evoke plumes of dark smoke which would have wafted from the tryworks where whale blubber was rendered into lamp oil. The monuments also echo the dark oily skin of the right and bowhead whale.
From the logotype to monument, a common set of proportions was developed to maintain consistency across the brand.
Staying true to the promise
There is a disconnect between the promise of a 16th century Basque whaling station and the current town of Red Bay, mostly built in the mid-20th century. Visitors to Red Bay will largely experience the latter, while interpreting the former; we must be cautious in how Red Bay is represented.
The logo for Red Bay Basque Whaling Station is constructed of several symbols: a contemporary take on historical Red Bay references and inspired by the place itself.
Observing the natural setting
The palette is informed by the landscape and flora of Red Bay, along with common Basque colours. Reds and greens are dominant, from plants common to the area. Colour subtly builds a sense of place when it associates with the environment.
The colour palette includes: Red Bay (red), Belle Isle (Blue); Caribou Lichen; Moss, Partridge Berry, Bakeapple, Wild Blueberry, Squash Berry, and New Leaf.
Though Basque influence on present-day Red Bay is non-existent, the unique Roman-inflected style of Basque typography informed our typeface choices for this brand. Tyepfaces include Whitney, and Carter Sans.
A unifying form
In this system, a single metaphor (the “portal”) and a unifying set of proportions guides the form of everything, including the Red Bay logo, the shape of the monument, and the form of all signs in the system.
A few custom symbols have been designed to subtly amalgamate past and present.
Ships are represented by a silhouette of a galleon; the two oarsmen could be Basque sailors or present-day visitors; and the hiker wears a historical pack.
Gateway and major identification sign
This gateway / ID sign welcomes visitors to the town, and identifies major destinations at a vehicular scale. On the reverse side, pedestrian-scale information is given, such as maps and interpretive content.
Smaller-scale signs for pedestrian environments direct, assure and inform.
In our brand kit, we define how the logo and other elements should work on a page, on signs, and elsewhere.
The portal element
The “portal” can be interpreted a number of different ways: it could incorporate the woodcut, or frame an image.
We show how the brand can be used in sample collateral documents, like business cards, letterheads and rack cards.