THE RALEIGH QUARTER – Identity & Signage

The brief was firstly to create a visual identity for an area of the town of important historical interest that was to be named ‘The Raleigh Quarter’ and secondly produce trail signage that visitors to the area could follow and learn the stories associated with this unique part of Youghal.

Raleigh was the ‘hook’ to this Identity and so I concentrated on his connection to the town and what we know of him in a general sense.

He was typical ‘Renaissance Man’, of his period. A soldier, courtier, adventurer, free thinker, poet, historian who was granted 42k acres of land forfeited by the Desmonds on the River Blackwater. He was Mayor of Youghal in 1588-89 and sold his Irish estate to Richard Boyle 1st Earl of Cork who is also connected with Lismore Castle in the town where I live.

Introduction of the potato and tobacco on this side of the Atlantic is purported to be down to him. The well known tale of him laying his cape across a puddle for Queen Elizabeth I to step on is widely seen in different illustrations and prints.

However, while in the middle of researching him, a friend visiting the Royal Maritime Museum in London sent me an image of a statue of Raleigh on display there. And I thought the stance and air of swagger about it typified what he was.


Developing some ideas around the statue shape and using the letters ‘RQ’ as a way of grounding the name, I arrived, after a lot of iterations at the solution. I kept the colour scheme very simple so that each year when a new round of tourism promotion starts the client can change the RQ colour to reflect what is appropriate for any campaigns they have planned. Although the components of the Identity stay in the same place, the colour scheme is kept fresh and up to date each year.

Phase 2 was researching, writing and developing the content for the heritage trail signage and designing the units to be produced. With the help of a local Archaeologist Dan Noonan, who brought me the project in the first place, and who has an incredible knowledge on local history, myself and my copywriter set to telling the stories. I designed an introductory totem which I hope to have a replica of the Raleigh Statue set a top of, with 10 cast zinc panels for wall mounting. A ceramic maritime navigation design is also planned for a turning point on the road showing the directions to adventures and destinations connected with Raleigh.

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