Colony of Avalon: Uncover the Lost Capital

A way to spend a day

A Sunday drive seemed just the ticket on a chilly spring morning– even if it was Saturday.

We took the twisty road to Ferryland while listening to the new CD from Terra and Top 40, while chatting about the places we passed through and the ultimate destination – Colony of Avalon.

Today and yesterday

The ocean was as blue as our Dc logo and the grass already turning deep green even in May. Dc and I were on a mission: to find out everything about the 17th century in this gorgeous place.

Our duty: to research the area to inform a new brand expression for the foundation and board of directors.

Colony of Avalon |

We rolled up to the interpretation centre and had a sit-down to hear the stories of the Lords Baltimore (there were several), Lady Sarah Kirke – the first iteration of girl power on the island – and the French, who burned the colony to the ground in September 1673.

Colony of Avalon |
Colony of Avalon |
Colony of Avalon |

We saw the incredible artefacts – preserved better than any other recovered in the province – and from there got a sneak peek into the lab where every broken scrap of pottery and jewellery is carefully restored and put back together for display.

Travelling through history

Once outside, we wandered the site with the same guide who told us the details about the family Kirke.

Colony of Avalon |
Colony of Avalon |

She wove tales about the forge being the warmest place in the community and the spot where locals would come for a drink of ale while getting their tools fixed. She described the gardens and the types of fences that would have protected the community and the mansion house; which would have been incredible even by today’s standards.

Colony of Avalon |
Colony of Avalon |
Colony of Avalon |

She pointed out the first flushing toilet (thanks North Atlantic tides) in the history of North America, and talked about the religious tolerance the Kirke family promoted, and the fishing industry that fuelled the economy of the Southern Shore then and now.

A natural storyteller, she had Dc and I wrapt, as were a handful of off-season tourists, who wandered the site snapping photos.

The end of an adventure

On the way home we listened to Amelia Curran’s “They Promised You Mercy” each thinking quietly about how to create a visual representation of the entire archaeological dig, interpretation centre and more than 400 years of history; all of which had to fit on the back of a business card.

As a writer, I tossed around words like dig, uncover, lost city, while Dc talked about the imagery of layers of dirt, family crests, boats and water.

At the end of a pleasant afternoon we went our separate ways to think some more.

On Monday we drafted a few ideas and put some context around them. We presented several ideas to the Colony of Avalon.

The fruits of our labour

Colony of Avalon Logo |

The logo we went with references both the nautical history of the place, as well as the current existence of an archeological dig. Our favourite, and theirs, was the simplified trowel, which also functions as a boat mast and sail.

The three waves below, also represent the Atlantic Ocean, but – the gradient in the colours, and the inclusion of three layers – represent the levels of depth of the dig.

The homes atop the curve represent the manors and simple homes of the era.

Promise Line: Uncover the Lost Capital

The slogan for Colony of Avalon invokes the mystery and detective work related to archaeology through the word Uncover, while also reminding visitors that the colony’s history literally has to be unearthed.

Additionally, the Lost-Capital sentiment reminds us that this was once a thriving town, a place where commerce was done, and a place where people lived rich lives. It disappeared in time, much like tales of other lost cities like Pompeii or Atlantis, again invoking the mystery and excitement of the place.

Position Line: Tour – Dig – Discover

Inspired by the dig, these lines focus on the layers of history being uncovered and the past coming to the surface. Exposed is an exciting word that draws people in, to ask questions like; what’s down there, what happened in those years and since.

Of course, from the deep/depths, also refers to the ocean relevance to the community then and now.

Back to the future

The whole project was one we had a great time working on, but we also learned something and we have a new historical hero in the form of Sarah Kirke.

If you’re looking for a day trip this summer, check out Colony of the Avalon. Meanwhile, we hope our new logo lasts long into the future!

If you’re looking for a new brand or some help getting attention, Dc Design House loves to get in up to our eyes in our client’s business. From shaving our heads in support of Young Adult Cancer Canada to spending our downtime uncovering lost cities, we believe we only do our best work when we really know our clients.

Want to get to know us? Get in touch and we’ll dig into your brand.