Hiding in plain sight
In each large project we tackle there is one element that goes through everything to tie it all together. It most often is a subtle one, an emblem or such that is used extensively. It can be almost abstract in places, other times hidden in such a way that it is invisible until you notice and then you see it plain as day. In our new house this theme is hearts. There are thousands of them through the rockwork and trim and even the knots in the trees and wood trim are shaped that way. It makes the project fun for us as we build and also fun for the guests to look at and enjoy.
For the Skallywag Bay project this element was to be a skull and crossbones, typical pirate fare. I designed a prototype, as friendly as possible (for this is a family park). We all liked it but it wasn't quite right. It was a little too dark and a little too ordinary.
Then Peter brought in some sketches he had been working on. These sketches provided just the answer we were searching for. I kept the skull in the design that I had used previously but substituted the crossed bones with wrenches as in Peter's sketch. It was perfect. The wrenches spoke of the Gruffles and their mechanical ablities and inventivness. They explained the train, the submarine KRAKEN and the steampunk elements that will appear throughout the park. We will weave this element into our story and through every aspect of the features. The Gruffles were ahead of their time mechanically and able to build everything they could think of. Their version of the Jolly Roger tells this plain as day.
At first glance the new logo looks very piratey and normal. But if you take that second look and know the story it speaks of much more. Instead of death and destruction this new logo speaks of using your noggin to build wonderful inventions. Now the challenge is to see how many times we can use it through the park. It's my bet that guests who really look will find them absolutely everywhere. I'd also bet that only a very few (if any) will find them all.