Pinezhie brand
Firmly tied together with love
Pinezhie is the municipality to the East in Arkhangelsk Oblast, that puts together a set of places situated on the banks of Pinega river. Logistic specifics devides them into two separated locations, actually. One is the downstream of Pinega river with Pinega settlement and the second one is Karpogory set of villages in the upstream. Lack of straight roads and history pecularities make relations between the two unstable. That spoils the unified perception of the municipality. Location was more than ever in need of creating the innermost unification with the single visual and verbal brand. That's where we came into play. Here's how it looks like:
When you see it on the map, you'll notice that the main problem here is the lack of straight logistics. You can't get from Pinega (top) to Karpogory (bottom) easily, because there is simply no straight road. That makes the municipality act devided, no matter it's a single administrative unit. The act of separation is seen in everything.
Here is the map of Pinega River. The upper section and the lower section are almost not connected (dashed line)
Tie me up with Pinezhie
We started with a personal visit to Karpogory for broadening up our place perception. We had a five day trip across the villages in the upperstream of Pinega river first, in every of which we have visited the most active community, museum or single personalities. We had been greeted with the local food, dances, traditional crafts and got lots of fun. In the final day, we held a strategic session with residents. Then we repeated the same procedure in the downstream section where Pinega settlement is located later that year.
The overall vibe of travelling across the Pinezhie can be seen here Natalia and Aleksander, our son (with a snowball)
Сontrasting brand strategy
Request of finding similiarities between seemingly different places, that do not intentially crave for associating with each other can be met rather often. We've successfully handled it with Belomorie Cluster in Murmansk cluster. Here is short excerpt from comparing the two sections of Pinezhie and brief summary with what we came up with:
  • Karpogory (upstream)

    1. Traditionally provincial
    2. Spiritual world
    3. Distinctive villages
    1. Abramov
    2. Krivopolenova
    3. Danilov
    What to see:
    1. Houses with horse roof elements
    2. Barns
    3. Crane wells
  • Pinega (downstream)

    1. Traditionally urban
    2. Merchant town
    3. Way to the White Sea, Mezen', so-called "Pinezhsky Volok"
    1. Golitsyn
    2. Dezhnev
    3. Nikon Optinsky
    What to see:
    1. Houses with a mezzonine
    2. Pinezhsky national resort
    3. Caves
  • What ties both places together

    1. Pinega river
    2. Pinezhsky dialect
    3. History of local storytelling
    4. Traditional knitting crafts
    5. Warm north perception
We say Pinezhie — we mean the river, along which the whole history was built and practically all settlements are located. Pinezhans are inhabitants of the territory along the river. Pinezhskaga govorya is a dialect spoken by Pinezhans. Pinezhye is a warm "knitted" north, which is confirmed by the presence of crafts related to knitting, weaving, "warm" is also a stove one. Gastronomical Pinezhye feels like something cooked in the oven, yet not limited by it. We faced the unexpected type of onion, traditionally grown in Chardonem' village.
Natalia Rybalchenko
Have you heard of Chardonem' brand onions?
It took us time to came up with the one, seemed obvious title, while being tugged by the opponentous sides: the upstream and the downstream residents, who had been arguing around the round table.
Warm communication
When it came to the communication idea, we sticked to the seeming warmth of the north, based on traditional knitting and sewing crafts. Both taglines sound positive.
  • Tied with the single river

    An internal tagline that answers the question of "why are so different with different logistics, yet together? Answer is because residents are connected by the single river — the Pinega river. It connects both historically, naturally, and even verbally with the same dialect.
  • Everything will be tied

    The primary slogan for external communication. This is the place where everything will be connected: routes, thoughts, family values, impressions.
Tied together
Visual inspiration
Local patterns, colors, used on laces is what was the most inspiring visually. We soon found out a suitable analogy with the rivers and used them on maps.
First role in this identity goes to the awesome Epiphany type by Oleg Matsuev, who kindheartly gave permission to use his type for this project. Though it looks like having more of a southern vibe, we liked its amazing curves, that referred to the thread drawing we loved.
Pinezhie logo with Epiphany type, made by Oleg Matsuev
Pinezhie logo with tagline (left: external, right: internal)
Pinezhie is a highly illustrative identity. Drawings are fitting the type perfectly and create a single solid composition together, looking just fine, like in this large decorative logo.
Pinezhie: everything will be tied into the large and beautiful logo
The two lesser ones logos for Pinezhie
Round decorative illustrations are our favourite ones. They look awesome on almost everything and work even without the supportive text. We have made a set of special illustrations for every destination and topic.
You can't go wrong with round illustrations that look awesome on, say, everything
They are used separately on all sorts of icons:
Set of round badges
Local dialect
We have prepared a series of the most notorious local words that are used in Pinezhie, which are absolutely counterintuitively hard to guess. It was meant to be a part of the linguist card game, which offered to guess the word meanings (almost impossible if you're not get used to).
A cloud of Pinega dialect that are used in a guessing game
— Porato baska! (which stands for "very beautiful")
Patterns is a convinient way to create merch the easy way. We have prepared the light and dark themes for all needs.
Made in
The series of "made in" logos use northern pinezhie barn as a main image. It is the place where residents kept everything important from foods to the most valuable items. Now this logo is put on the local goods, sold during festivals and offsite events.
Four "MadeIn" Pinezhie logos
One of the most important parts of our identities is a map which could compete of being the most long one. We have a full article on it.
The center of the map that is six times larger, read more here
Upstream and downstreams of Pinega river on the single row
Relating with Pinezhie branding
We offer to use elements from the map for creating all sorts of branded logos for whoever got intrigued. This is what activating brand via entrepreneurs and budget services is. All subbrands have similiar designs that borrow graphics right from the map:
And turn them to logos by adding a text:
Four example logos that had been included in the brandbook
We have made several projects in the first few years after the project launch on request. One of them is tourist informational center, the other few is for entrepreneurs that agreed to represent Pinezhie on the festivals. This helped to activate the newly created brand between the residents in the Pinezhie region and make it recognizable. This triggered conflicts with already developed brands that has been presented on market and didn't have straight connection with the new one. While all of them weren't critical, with lack of a compitient brand manager, handling this conflicts wasn't immediate and caused some trouble.
House schematics
We have created posters that are present on the streets of Karpogory to make accent on northern housebuilding features. Besides that we've created a guide for building northern barns using the locally produced scaled down toy barn constructor kit.
The house that Pinezhie built
Idea of the brand has brilliantly covered the problem that persisted on the territory: the long awaited unifying of the Pinega and Karpogory sections in the single tourist unit. Our entrepreneurs and active residents loved the warm embroided feeling of the design, that has been created and had been willing to use it.
Tatiana Shilina
Probrand awards 2022 — ltr: Natalia Rybalchenko, Maria Vilyukova, Katerina Antoshkina, Igor Makovsky
  • Natalia Rybalchenko
    Brand strategist, researcher
  • Igor Makovsky
    Art director, designer
  • Kate Antoshkina
    Designer (since 2021)
  • Kate Semenova
    Designer (since 2024)
  • Oleg Matsuev
    Epyphany type designer
  • Paratype
    Circe type foundry
  • Tatyana Shilina
    Veronika Yanichek
    Svetlana Zenovskaya
    Svetlana Kornitskaya
    Thanks for support
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