How do you create a brand that both respects the heritage of a building and the unwritten stories of its future?

The Leas Pavilion Archive Brand and Logo

The Leas Pavilion provided entertainment to the seaside town of Folkestone, Kent for nearly 100 years. But, since 2007, when the last show ran, the building has been left. Abandoned to the elements. The Friends of the Leas Pavilion wish to change this, by telling the story of the history of the Leas Pavilion and by securing the lease to the building so that they may continue to tell new stories.

The Edge Creative Agency was contracted to create a new brand for the Leas Pavilion and the Leas Pavilion Archive. Something that would acknowledge the history of the building, but also fit it well for a new life in the 21st century. Myself and Alex Lawford took the project on, delivering a new brand identity in just 7 days.

Inspiration

We started by looking at the building itself for inspiration. Having stood on the Leas for over 100 years now, the building is instantly familiar to anyone who has lived in Folkestone, and the archive is about telling the story of this historic building. We brought together images of the Pavilion and associated artefacts to look for inspiration for the logo.

A Gathered.app screen showing some of the inspiration used in the design process A Gathered.app screen showing some of the inspiration used in the design process

Certain elements of the building stood out to us as being iconic. The triangular roof of the building, the Art Nouveau glasswork at the front of the building, and the decorative stairs leading down from the Leas into the buildings courtyard. This is where our design experimentation began.

Screenshot of Sketch.app showing various iterations and ideas for the logo, including different colour schemes Screenshot of Sketch.app showing various iterations and ideas for the logo, including different colour schemes

Once we had a series of directions to explore, we gathered feedback from the Friends of the Leas Pavilion on which elements they did and didn’t like, in the context of representing the building both as a historic archive and as a potentially reopening attraction for Folkestone.

Opinion was split, but ultimately the Friends agreed on two candidates to continue with. One based on the Art Nouveau glass and one based on the entry stairway. With this decided, we worked to iterate on and evolve these designs.

For example, initial designs of the balustrade were too “fussy”, including too much of the original detail to look clean and modern on the colour background and at all sizes. The decision was made to reduce the detail, to include only the main shapes of the Balustrade, to ensure a clear design at all sizes and resolutions.

Screenshot of Sketch.app showing the evolution of the Leas Pavilion Archive Balustrade Logo Screenshot of Sketch.app showing the evolution of the Leas Pavilion Archive Balustrade Logo

Once the two logo candidates were evolved, we returned to the Friends for feedback, where they decided on using the Balustrade logomark and associated wordmark.

Creating a Colour Scheme

For such a unique building, we knew we needed to create a unique colour scheme. Based on the building itself, and the architectural plans, we decided on “Pavilion Terracotta”, a slightly ‘burnt’ orange colour that represents that material of the building itself. To complement this, we also created “Seaside Blue” a light blue colour that represents the local sky and the sea above with the Leas Pavilion stands.

Together, these colours create a harmonious effect, whilst also offering enough contrast for those with visual impairments.

Choosing a Font

When choosing a font for a charitable foundation, such as an archive, its important that you use resources that can be easily found and that don’t cost a fortune to licence and use. With that in mind, we used Google Fonts as the source when looking for fonts for the Archive, as the fonts are free to use and easy to download and include in websites.

Inspired by the font previously used on the gate to the Leas Club, which inhabited the Pavilion during the last years of its life, I chose Oswald. Its tall proportions match the original Leas Club font quite well, whilst also giving a impression of importance and an almost Art Nouveau feel to the logo.

For the day-to-day font, I decided to go with Open Sans, mostly because of its legibility and familiarity, with it being used already in many websites and applications. We did look at other fonts, but found that they offered little to no benefit whilst losing the familiarity and feel.

A view of the different font guides for the Leas Pavilion Archive, as provided to the web team A view of the different font guides for the Leas Pavilion Archive, as provided to the web team

Client Reaction

The final design of the logo and brand was well received by the client. They were pleased with the look and feel of the branding which reflected the heritage context of the archive but provided an attractive modern colour scheme suitable for the newly developed website and other uses.

The Friends then commissioned me to create an exhibition using the same design language.

Public Reception

Reception of the logo and new branding has been incredibly positive. People love the mix of the Balustrade from the building itself with the new logo incorporating the wordmark. They also like the ability to split the logo into two elements, so that it can be tailored to the use at hand. (This became especially useful and fun when creating badges for the opening exhibition.

The logo, colours, and fonts have now gone on to be used for the Leas Pavilion Archive website, as well as been used for the boards and supporting materials for the Leas Pavilion Archive Exhibition.