Good Design: Heritage Park Logo


Heritage Park Logos

Heritage Park has recently come to the conclusion that perhaps the past is no longer relevant. Please don’t be alarmed. This new philosophy is only being adopted in their approach to branding and primarily presents itself to Calgarians in the form of a modernized logo.

Your friends at Elbowruminations feel this logo is certainly a step forward in time from the previous logo which was a gigantic “H” accompanied by an equally large axe. Although the previous iteration could be successfully classified as either charming and retro in an rustic, distinctively pioneery way or alternatively exceptionally cheesy in nature, the new logo has many things going for it.

The first advantage of the new logo is in the pragmatic details that was bestowed upon it by the team responsible for its design. The simplistic one colour design is an efficient and thrifty method of keeping printing costs down. This colour scheme is also a pairing that evokes the kind of patriotism required for an institution that seeks to celebrate provincial and national history on a daily basis. Secondly, Another detail that is certainly a welcome innovation is the addition of “Historical Village” as a part of the logo. This is a great way to communicate to tourists, and locals alike, what they can expect to find at Hertiage Park. It may be safe to say that there has always been a lingering question mark in the minds of most people as to what this venue could be classified as. Is it an outdoor museum? An antique amusement park? No! It’s a Historical Village. It’s a great relief to have this matter resolved. The new tagline: “How the West was Once” is also quite a clever play on words and is easily understood.

In terms of the overall image achieved by the logo, our only concern is regarding the wispy nature of the lines used to create the look. The old-timey feeling certainly exists with the intelligent usage of the locomotive. The well kearned, variable letter sizes, with a solid, historical type-face is nice touch. Perhaps it just seems that the smoke surrounding the text is more of a feeble attempt to fill space rather than an aggressive, purposeful technique used to evoke the power and prestige of the old-west, anything is possible, pioneer spirit. This however, is a minor issue when the other positive points are considered.

One last thought is regarding the awkward shape of the logo. It may be difficult to apply properly in situations where seamless integration is required and could be well suited to be applied as in a more cohesive crest-like format rather than in the format of a traditional logo. It would work in an embroidery application and would be well suited to uniforms and shirts.

All in all, the new logo seems to be adjusting nicely to a time far different from what you would typically expect to find at a Historical Village like Heritage Park. Let’s hope the future continues to be friendly.

  • Steve

    Thanks for explaining that it’s a locomotive. In passing by on the street I could never make out what it was. My best guess had been an atomic bomb mushroom cloud.

    As for the big H — I wish they’d kept it installed there anyway, even if they felt the need to change the official logo. It was a long-standing landmark on 14th Street. I feel there is great value in maintaining artifacts and structures such as that which are part of the history of Calgary. Wait a minute…, isn’t that what Heritage Park is supposed to be trying to preserve?