We wanted a strong slab serif, while also having the presence of a thicker geometric sans serif, so we picked a font that had the best of both worlds. We further customized it to create a unique wordmark for our national park.
The result is a wordmark that encompasses all the characteristics that we were looking for in our logo, as well as one that had a strong presence when applied in any form throughout the brand: signs, posters, print. The subheading can be aligned left, right and center depending on the application of the wordmark.
Bright colors that popped were chosen instead of the colors we found in the environment because we wanted all applications of the system to be easily spotted. Bright friendly colors cater to families as well. The colors also identify the difficulties of the trails present in the park: easy, moderate and strenuous.
To compliment the geometric nature of the wordmark, Gotham was chosen as a secondary font for this identity, used in two different weights: tracked out in Gotham Medium for subheaders and Gotham Book for body copy.
The main visual element in this brand is this energetic band of colors, which we call Strata Layers. The layers represent the different sedimentary layers of rock present in the mountains of Catoctin Mountain Park, and the movements of the layers depict the geological changes that caused the formation of the mountains. By incorporating the color system, this dynamic band of colors presents the park as a vibrant and attractive national park.
Sillouettes of the two more iconic rock formations were created for use as silhouettes in applications around the park. Examples of these can be found on page 20, within the Applications category.
Initial concepts for the logo experimented with using the wordmark itself as a container for the Strata Layers, as well as the inclusion of the sillhouette of a hiker to place emphasis on the hiking aspects of the park. These concepts were rejected in favor of a logo which placed more emphasis on the wordmark, while the Strata Layers played a more secondary role.
The final logo incorporates the wordmark, the Strata Layers, and the topographic map of Catoctin Mountain Park. The yellow layer also mimics the sillhouette of the mountain range that is viewable from the Chimney Rock lookout. The logo can also be used as a standalone wordmark, or with the layers as a solid background.
An issue with the previous signs was the visibility of them around the park. The current signs tended to blend too well into the environment, making it hard to spot from a distance. The new signs would contain the bright colors of our brand, while being color coded on the difficulty of the trail.
The same issue of visibility occurs with the warning signs, which warn hikers of dangerous terrain in the park. Creating more eye catching and brightly colored signs will increase the visibility, creating a safer hiking experience for visitors.
With a new branding face to this wonderful but little known historic national park, we have brought together the most professional design aspects that we felt would complement it the best. In order to attract more visitors of all ages and hiking skills to this park, we felt as though introducing inviting colors would really capture the attention on the audience we sought out to find. We also wanted to introduce all the features that this wonderful park has to offer including accommodations to stay over night and a learning center to fulfill even the youngest of historians thirst for knowledge.