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Secluded lakeside vacation retreat

in the woodlands

of rural Maine

“Blacksmith did an outstanding job helping us conceive of and develop a compelling brand and web presence for Dragonwood. Their comprehensive and technically expert approach made what seemed (to us) to be an impossible task… easy. We look forward to working with them in the future as our business continues to grow.”

— Nicky Howell, Co-Founder

THE BRIEF

Scope of Work
  • Brand Development

  • Brand Strategy

  • Brand Identity Design

  • Creative Direction

  • Photography & Imaging

  • Web Design & Development

Dragonwood provides off-grid lodging and local excursion booking for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and events. Their extensive regional knowledge, preparedness, and collaboration with the local community allow them to create safe, fun and fulfilling adventures designed to rekindle guests' connection to the natural world.

When we began, Dragonwood had no branding other than the name. They needed messaging, photography, video and a website. More than anything, they needed guests to understand what they had to offer. The property is ever-evolving, with a growing capacity for event hosting and new amenities every season. Our goal was to make Dragonwood as welcoming as it is in real life, with a clear sense of everything that can be done both on the property and in the surrounding region.

Messaging

Mission

Provide guests with a comfortable, secluded, and off-grid homestead from which to enjoy safe, memorable adventures in the woodlands of Maine

Vision

A hidden gem where guests can find serenity, grounding, and the opportunity to check a few items off their bucket list

Promise

Expansive Seclusion

Pitch

Rekindle your connection to the natural world

Visual Identity

For the brand identity, we wanted to create something that would appeal to both families with children and to more rugged outdoor enthusiasts. It couldn't be too childish, or too scary. We settled on the brand anchor “Earthy & Inviting”, finding the meeting place between heavier earth tones and organic shapes with the refined lightness that the property boasts.

The logomark was of course inspired by the name Dragonwood. Initially the client wanted a smiling dragon with open arms, but we took a chance on a different idea: a sleeping dragon, protecting its treasure—the forest. A simple smile on the sleeping dragon's face helped create a sense of ease, inviting the viewer to share in its peaceful rest. The sharp points of the sunshine ridge on the dragon's spine is eased by the circular frame shaped like the outer ring of a tree stump.
 

While the typography for the logotype is specific for that use, our lead typographer, Alex Elgg, designed a custom typeface called “Dusty Shelf” for use with the rest of the Dragonwood brand. It is meant to deliver the same approachable, organic feel as the other identity components.

 

The color palette is inspired by the green forest and green scales of the dragon, with warm accent colors meant to evoke the fire within.