Design studio «H2E» has created a brand for the visitors’ centre of Āraiši Archaeological Museum Park. Jānis Apals, archaeologist and discoverer of the Āraiši archaeological site said: «I’ve only ever had one dream in my life — to ressurect Āraiši Lake Fortress!» Following his vision and persistent efforts to reconstruct the mysterious lake settlement, the visual identity is designed to resemble a glittering dream, appearing from the unknown.
Āraiši Archaeological Museum Park consists of a reconstruction of a 9–10th century fortified residence of ancient Latgalians, 14–17th century medieval castle ruins, as well as reconstructions of Stone and Bronze Age dwellings, all located on the shore of Āraiši Lake near Cēsis. The presence of water creates a special mood in the area.
The visual identity captures the impressions of the lake landscape and the story of raising the mythical fortress up from the depths of the lake. Conceptually, these are depicted as a barely perceptible but permanent imprint. The graphic design combines the flow of water with the passage of time, revealing the multilayered nature of the unique place.
The colour palette is defined by the warm earthy tones prevailing around the lake castle: saturated maroon as copper or clay and warm grey as the shade of weathered wood. Clay, earth and wood tell the story of the primordial truthfulness of the place, which, when smoothed by the patina of time, is revealed as a value and a surprise.
Like an ancient rune or an imprint in a clay pot, some letter shapes have disappeared in the graphic sign. The robust and nuanced typeface is an expression of historical heritage and a contemporary look at it. It speaks emphatically, smoothing some characters while sharply marking others.
In summer 2020, a permanent exhibition about the lake fortress and its discoverer, archaeologist Jānis Apals will open in Āraiši. The strategy, concept and design of the exhibition is currently being developed by design studio «H2E» in order to introduce visitors to the Archaeological Museum Park in an exciting new format.