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The story behind the Estonian Archives in Australia Rebrand

by Lachlan Bell

The EAA was looking to ‘rebrand’ to help increase their awareness in the community, especially with the younger generation who are less aware of its purposes. The logo and website had not been updated since the early 2000s and required a cohesive visual identity and a modern approach. Initial research into cultural organisations such as the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Sydney Jewish Museum and Blue Shield International informed the design approach.

EAA previous logo
The previous EAA logo.

Inspired to stay true to the original logo, additional text in both English and Estonian was incorporated as one of the main drawbacks of the original logo was the unexplained EAA acronym. The letter ’E’ was stylised in the form of a traditional sõlg (brooch) which is a common item worn by individuals as a symbol of protection.

The inspiration behind the form was drawn from vööd (folk-dancing belts) and the interweaving of histories, with a single arrow arriving from present, back to past and towards our future, symbolising the nature and purpose of Archives in helping us understand who we are and where we came from.

The inclusion of the Southern Cross aimed to provide a culturally-resonant motif and assist in creating a distinctive Australian design to set it apart from its Estonian and diasporic counterparts around the world.

Whilst this project began as a University project, I chose the Archives as it felt like a purposeful and appropriate use of my time in applying my theory to a real-life scenario. Becoming increasingly involved within the Sydney Estonian community has allowed me to work on projects with real-life clients and work on often challenging briefs (even more so for individuals approaching from outside the community).

Having previously worked on briefs for Eeski Ski Lodge, Virmalised, Sõrve Summer Camp, the ECFA and Kooskõlas I find these projects particularly satisfying and gratifying and hope to continue further encourage young and emerging designers/artists to make the most of the opportunities we are provided being a part of such a community.

By Lachlan Bell

Immersed in the Sydney Estonian community, fascinated by our community’s history and story.