The Evolution of a Calgary Icon: The Glencoe Club
If you are from Calgary or have lived here for any amount of time, there is a good chance you’ve heard of The Glencoe Club — an exclusive private member sport and social club that’s waiting list has, well, a waiting list.
It’s been a part of the Calgary landscape for the last 85 years. Its roots stem back to 1931 when the Club first opened with a membership of only 1,200 people, fast-forward to today where membership has grown to over 13,000 members. To this day, it preserves the original intent and charter of the Club, which is to promote, practice and cultivate sport while affording to its members and their friends all the privileges, advantages, conveniences and accommodations of a sport and social club.
Throughout the decades, and to accommodate the growth of The Glencoe Club, the facility has been updated and renovated too many times to count; it was even rebuilt and restored after the original Club was completely incinerated by a devastating fire in 1962. But without too much hesitation and delay, The Glencoe reopened in 1963, just over a year later. The silver lining? The Club had an opportunity to recreate its facilities into the shining gem it is today.
A BRAVE REBRAND
Recently, The Glencoe Club completed another new expansion to add even more to this world class facility. In addition, they decided on another remodelling of sorts, but this renovation is not of the bricks and mortar kind. It’s been a restoration of one of its most defining and significant pieces of history, the Club crest.
And that’s where we enter this story. The Glencoe Club entrusted our firm with the delicate task of capturing its history, its passion for sports, and its dedication to its family of members in a new logo that would become part of its legacy for the next 100 years or so. And nothing was more humbling to our team to be chosen for this rebrand.
“This project means a lot to Everbrave, we are a Calgary-based agency, and to be given the opportunity to work with one of Calgary’s most historic brands was such an honour,” says Dan Bergeron, President of Everbrave.
With a tight timeline and clear specifications, we were tasked to create a new crest for The Glencoe Club; one that will pay homage to the series of logos the club had used between 1931 and 1984, while giving it a contemporary feel. The new crest would need to withstand the next 25+ years of growth while clearly communicating the brand over a variety of traditional and modern platforms in a consistent way.
“Essentially we were asked to bring The Glencoe Club identity into a more modern context, while also maintaining its sense of history. This is a very progressive club that has grown alongside its vibrant membership, and while they have a bold vision for the future, they also wanted to stay close to their lineage and the values that have defined them for generations. We were thrilled with the opportunity to build a logo that merged a sense of history with modern longevity.” explains Brianne Hamilton, VP of Brand Experience.
So we took a walk down memory lane and researched traditional crests, monograms and marks, and returned to the drawing board to debate, challenge and recreate these concepts. And at the end of our journey, three different crests emerged from the ashes. Each crest was original, but one was more traditional in styling and structure, while one was more contemporary in shape and execution, and the last was much more simple and authentic.
Each option of the crest hit home with the Club, but only one could steal their hearts. Upon the smack of the gavel, the traditional style crest was voted in as the new identity of The Glencoe Club by its esteemed board of directors.
Our goal was to create a crest that has a strong sense of long-standing tradition and distinction with classic styling. Its iconic elements represent both past and present, while it’s serif style fonts give it a modern balance. The rich blue colour was modernized with a warm undertone, and represents tradition, trust and confidence.
“The challenge with the traditional crest was adding enough elements to make it look credible without limiting it to one-time era, says Wilson Wong, VP Creative Services. “We wanted the new crest to become a timeless piece of their legacy.”
Building a crest is a technical process that requires the proper imagery and symbolism to tell the story of its owner, their heritage, values, beliefs and assets; all the things that are seen as important and significant.
After immersing ourselves into the culture and history of the Club, we choose icons and symbolism to both represent where The Glencoe Club is going and where they have been:
The Torch – Three-fold in representation: it symbolizes leadership excellence in all disciplines, pursuits and actions; a dedication to sports, its programs and facilities; and finally, the passing of the torch between generations of members, and celebration of their milestones.
The Diagonal Cross – Pays homage to the rich and deep-rooted history of the The Glencoe Club by referencing the St. Andrew Cross on the Scottish flag. Adapting the element from the Club’s initial crest, it has been updated to represent the four main stakeholders that it proudly serves: its members, staff, neighbours and the city in which it resides. The Club is at its intersection, forming the heart and soul of the community, while nurturing the social connections between participating members.
The Mountains – Pays tribute to not just the current location of The Glencoe near the Elbow River, but the original inspiration of the Club’s name, in the Scotland’s Glencoe Valley.
The G and C Initials – Are incorporated within the crest to create ownership of the mark, making the crest undeniably that of The Glencoe Club.
“I am really proud of the team’s execution and the creative options they were able to produce in such a short time. I really enjoyed this project, The Glencoe Club’s enthusiastic spirits really made it a rewarding interaction,” says Bergeron.
As our team reflects on the project, a common sentiment is that this project was important
in a way that’s a little extra-ordinary; it allowed our team, both together and individually, to leave a mark on Calgary, one that will stand for generations to come.
“The end result was pretty impressive. The addition of the torch and flame was totally unexpected, but its multi-faceted meaning really hit home with the Club.” Says Jan Bloemraad, General Manager of The Glencoe Club. “Right from the start, the team at Everbrave was professional and hit the mark on everything from presentation to creative.”