Belomorie: Kandalaksha
Kandalaksha & Tersky Coast embraced by the White Sea
The Tersky Coast is the southernmost border of the Murmanskaya Oblast that is washed by the White Sea and had always been appealing for the lovers of the northern aesthetics, fishing and hiking. Particularly helpful is the location of the place, that you can get to from Moscow and St.Petersburg by car, leaving Karelia behind. Tourists visit Kandalaksha, the port transport city hub, however not always diving further, where the true northern magic awaits. We had been asked to work under the idea of their cluster brand unification.

Client: Murmansk Cluster Development Center

Work: Research, branding, design, maps, wayfinding, illustrations

2017 … 2018
This will be part 1: the story of Kandalaksha, that is, probably, one of our most proud implemented brands ever made. Noteworthy, that the brand lives and prospers on its own, without any our help, that is absolutely great. Don't miss part 2: the Tersky Coast, when you're finished.
Welcome to Kandalaksha
Industrial town, transport and port hub, entryway to Kola Peninsula, situated on the highway from Moscow and St.Petersburg through Karelia
First things first. Getting along with the major territory communities: administration, museum, entrepreneurs and all those interested. Surveys, talks, sketches and chatting over a cup of tea. Multiplied by a few visits across half-of-the year period.
Embracing idea
Belomorie title was there before us, and it will be there after us, so we couldn't discuss if it's good or bad. We'd recommend to change it, for sure, because it isn't unique and has many objects with the same name around the White Sea territory.
Making place unification brands by showing contrasts is very typical story in our practice. Playing on a contrast is actually pretty funny.
Natalia Rybalchenko
If to speak about the feeling of the place, then, it's like the two polar sides of the same sphere that exist purely on the contrast and can offer different tourism experiences, that cover the whole scope of target audience available.
  • Kandalaksha vibe

    Active, industrial, young, sportlike, proactive
  • Tersky Coast vibe

    Calm, contemplative, authentic, conservative, wooden
  • Kandalaksha tourism

    Cycling, downhill, trailing, regatta, rafting, skiing, sledging, hiking, boat trips, fishing
  • Tersky Coast tourism

    Family tourism, plenaries, photo tourism, fishermen, tidal contemplation
  • Kandalaksha time

  • Tersky Coast time

    Slowing down
So, we found it quite obvious to finish up with the pretty atmospheric and poetic mood slogan like this. Actually, there were two variant and we lost track of which is the official and which is not. Some people call it "White Sea" some prefer using "Single Sea". Let it be dual, like the whole brand is.
Two Coasts of the White Sea
Contrast identity
The whole design exists on the contrast of adding to things together. Actually that scheme is met all around the globe. If something had to be connected, which haven't been unified before, you'll definately stick to comparing differences and share target audiences between the two.
Two logos of the one brand
Logo turns upside-down and downside-up from the perspective of where you are. If you're using it Kandalaksha, let it be on top, otherwise: Umba will take the place.
Two-sided logo of Belomorie with emphasis on Kandalaksha (left) or Tersky Coast (right)
Belomorie logo with Kandalaksha point of view, so it stands on top
Kandalaksha energy vs Umba tranquility
Where Kandalaksha has a plain and sharp elements, the Tersky Coast logo will be roughed and
Dynamic Kandalaksha logo
It is known, that the type is what drives the good brand forward. It is communication, it is easy to use and you can get your result fast when implement. In Belomorie, this free-to-use unique type made for everybody to use became widespread from menus to city signs and official administration letters.
Belomorie Script Family
It is known, that the type is what drives the good brand forward. It is communication, it is easy to use and you can get your result fast when implement.
Belomorie Kanda Script is all sharp as glass, plain and straight. All the lines like the trace after the skateboard, left on the slope.
Belomorie Tersky Script is all rough and ragged, like made of the wood and sticks. Warm and uneven, bumpy and far from excellent.
All the secondary activities, artifacts, ideas and symbols of Kandalaksha has been added for everyday needs.
One of the core elements of every place brand we're making. Represented in three versions — the general, that covers the entire territory and one for Kandalaksha and its counterpart in Tersky Coast part — Umba. There is the whole article on them.
Not the best implementation we could dream of, but, hey, that's the main cinema in the whole town and all the thing shine brightly at night-time and that makes us happy.
Brand can be seen on the houses next to the city center square, so people could explore the nearby territory on this naive, yet nice map. Was nice to see, that the house with the map decorated facade is the maternity hospital. If so, it would be nice idea to name the rooms accordingly to the place on the map.
Town guidelines
Impressive initiative indeed: the self-developed town guidelines attempt at dealing with the street sign chaos and decorations. And, what is especially nice is that it inheritances the principles declared in the brand. We had something to add to these guidelines, however we hadn't been asked to and have seen the final result only.
excerpt from TOWN GuiDELINES
Brand can be seen literally everywhere!
Thanks to the support of administration, the brand is widely shown across town with emphasis on the display font Belomorie Script, that we made, which succesfully became the substitution of the infamous Comic Sans here. What we like most is that all these things are made totally without our presence of any kind. Seriously, there could've been much more.
Thanks for the brand, guys. Sharp and classy. Will implement. Have developed townguides based on it.
Michael Pavlov
Left-to-right: Natalia Rybalchenko, Igor Makovsky and Ilona Skopinova (2017)
  • Natalia Makovsky
    Brand strategy
  • Igor Makovsky
    Art direction, designer, illustrator
  • Nastya Obudenkova
  • Ilona Skopinova
    Local activist
  • Thanks to Michael Pavlov, the deputy of the Kandalaksha District for support
More projects in Murmanskaya oblast