Atlanta History

Published on September 8th, 2016 |


Atlanta History Center taking on new ‘personality’ with visual branding campaign

By Howard Pousner

Special to

If you’ve driven down West Paces Ferry Road from the heart of Buckhead in recent days, you may have noticed a trio of boldly hued banners hugging the front façade of the new Atlanta History Center.  hist-ctr-brand5

Those bright and bold messages are just a glimpse of the new “personality” that continues to evolve in and outside the buildings dotting the History Center’s wooded 33-acre campus.

The Atlanta History Center selected Son & Sons, an Atlanta design agency located in Midtown, to work with the History Center’s staff and board over the past year to find the right visual identity reflecting the change and growth at the cultural institution.

The History Center may be celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, but it has been energetically undergoing physical expansion as well as programmatic shifts aimed at building, diversifying, and better serving its audience. Leaders decided it was important to establish a coherent image that clearly conveys this new vitality to the city and out-of-town visitors.

So along with the recent and ongoing physical additions – the opening of the greatly expanded Allen Atrium and connected Souper Jenny café and Atlanta History Center bookstore; the debut of

Colorful banners spell out the variety of activities at the History Center'a registration desk.

Colorful banners spell out the variety of activities at the History Center’a registration desk.

the thought-provoking long-term exhibition “Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta”; and the construction of the Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker Cyclorama Building – visitors and passers-by will see change manifested in signage, new marketing materials, and a new website.

Son & Sons has devised a rich, sprightly color palette and messaging that’s more approachable, and showcases the different History Center offerings.

“Welcome Explorers! If you’re looking for history, knowledge and adventure, you’ve come to the right place,” reads the wall sign in big letters just inside the main entrance, which features the organization’s new bold blue signature color and showcases its new logo. “Acres Await!” promises another surprise welcome in a stairway leading to History Center’s backyard, featuring gardens and historic houses.

Gone is the old star logo, replaced by vertical bars that symbolize the past and the future, placing many items in between, from an array of artifacts to images of roosters and blossoms. The idea is to encapsulate everything that is the Atlanta History Center.

“When we began this exploration of repositioning and developing a new visual identity with Son & Sons, we all knew that our ultimate goal was to communicate that the History Center is not just striving to be valuable, relevant, engaging and welcoming, but that we are showing that commitment hist-ctr-brand6everyday through everything we offer visitors,” said Hillary Hardwick, vice president of marketing communications. “We want their experience across the campus to be engaging, inclusive, immersive, thought-provoking, and fun for all ages and interests.

“We want to continue evolving into a welcoming civic and cultural organization that impacts people’s lives,” Hardwick added, “effects positive change in our community, and that people want to visit again and again.”

The new branding is reflected even in the blue T-shirts worn by Guest Experience staffers behind the admissions desk.

The slogan in crisp white lettering on their backs speaks to a new dawn at the Atlanta History Center: “Some Things Get Better With Age.”

(For more information about the Atlanta History Center, located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road, click here.)


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