Reviewed

Battle of Bannockburn Logo, New

Scheduled to open in 2014, The Battle of Bannockburn project is a partnership between the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and Historic Scotland to create a new visitor centre and landscaping at the site of the original battle of 1314 that, as described by NTS, is “one of the defining moments in Scottish history, [where] King Robert the Bruce routed the English forces of King Edward II to win a much-longed-for freedom for the Scots.” The identity for the project was designed by The Beautiful Meme with consultation from Bruno Maag of Dalton Maag; the logo was first released in July of 2012 and it just caught a second wind after winning the Best Identity of the Year at the UK’s Design Week Awards.

Like The Battle of Bannockburn experience itself, our identity demands engagement. The unusual approach of each character representing an aspect of the battle or its historical impact results in a logo that asks our audience to make an investment, to spend time and thought in revealing what the identity is saying. Such an immersion is rewarded with depictions of weapons, strategy, terrain, pride and nationhood. The aesthetic of the logo is dark, brutal and spiky, reflecting the realities of battle. Stylistically, the characters reflect contemporary app icons and game graphics, as well as more traditional heritage illustrated visuals.
— Brand Book (not available online)

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

Like individual units in an army, each character can be dispatched separately to do battle for the brand through marketing, merchandising and fundraising. The ability to break apart the logo also allows for an identity that can be hacked. We anticipate some sectors of our target audience (particularly students) creating new versions and letters, using images within the letterforms, employing single letters to begin sentences similar to illuminated manuscripts, or even making 3D or animated versions.
— Brand Book (not available online)

All captions below are from the brand book.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

The B illustrates the tight packs in which the Scots would group together, known as Schiltrons. The men would brandish pikes ready to spear oncoming troops.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

The A shows the tip of a regular infantry arrow that could be fired by archers to pierce flesh up to 100 yards away.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

This N represents a cavalry horse in its charging position. In total 2700 battle hardened horses were used at Bannockburn.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

This N represents a common medieval chainmail pattern. The chainmail worn could weigh up to three stone.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

The O represents the head of a morning star or mace. This brutal weapon was often used by soldiers on horse back.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

The C represents the sabaton armour that was generally worn by higher ranking infantry. It would protect feet, shoulders and arms from hacking blows.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

The K represents the head of an axe or turn-pike. Robert the Bruce used a battle axe to attack and kill Sir Henry de Bohun - the axe sliced through his helmet and split his skull in two.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

This B represents the rampant lion that was emblazend on English and Scottish shields and flags. Only after the battle did the lion become associated with the Scottish.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

The U represents the style of helmet used in the battle. Although they limited vision they would protect from stray arrows and light weaponary strikes.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

The R represents a plan of war. The ingenious tactics used by the Scots to defeat the English were crucial to the battle’s outcome. What was lacked in numbers was made up for in strategic positioning on higher ground.

Battle of Bannockburn Logo and Identity

The N represents the Declaration of Abroath. As a result of the battle, this important document was created on 6th April 1320 and declares Scotland an independent country.

How to say this in a professional, critical, constructive manner? This logo is fucking awesome. To elaborate, I guess, this is a concept that could have been executed so horribly and so wrong that it would make a Game of Thrones betrayal scene look like Nashville. The weight and balance of each character and the details within it are all perfectly in tune and there is enough detail to understand the different things each letter is trying to communicate even without the explanations above. Except the first “N” — the horse — which I had not picked up on and then just blew my mind. The logo is spiky and dangerous and it immediately communicates medieval warfare in a way that is contemporary and exciting. So, yeah, I stand by my initial assessment: fucking awesome.

filed under Culture and tagged with , , ,

Reviewed June 10, 201306.10.13 by Armin


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