Band stories - Bringing a fossil museum to life in Dorset
Steve Etches MBE began collecting fossils over 35 years ago. Completely self taught, what began as a hobby has now resulted in a collection of over 2000 unique specimens that are globally important. Band was introduced to Steve during the early stages of funding and development of a museum to house this important collection of fossils.
Getting things off the ground
It was clear that at the start of this project the only common driver was the vision of housing the collection in a unique space, somewhere Steve could showcase his work, a centre for education and a place for the community and visitors to embrace. To do that a name would be needed along with a brand identity that we could carry through to the physical museum.
After a great deal of discussion, strategy and proposals with Steve and patron Sir Michael Hobbs, the museum found a name. The Etches Collection - The Museum of Jurassic Marine Life became a tangible focus that all involved could harness during early stage funding both privately and with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Telling the story of Jurassic life in the Kimmeridgian
The museum needed a life of its own, even with items that on the face of it were nothing but old fragments of life millions of years ago. To do that we needed to help tell the story, what was truly unique about the museum, what will be the hook that gets people to visit, what was life like back then? Our proposition ‘Stories from deep time’ answered them succinctly and we would carry this mantra through all of the communication subsequently produced.
Delivering the visual identity
Now we could start supporting the drive for funding with an exciting visual brand, reflecting it onto exhibition stands, brochures and visuals to help sell the vision. After a lengthy funding process and with Band’s continued support, the finances were secured and the building work started on the £5 million state-of-the-art museum. We would continue applying the brand style to signage, wayfinding, displays, merchandise and website during the build phase.
The Etches Collection opened its doors in late 2016 to rave reviews. It continues to be a centre for excellence, education hub and a popular destination for those visiting Dorset with an interest in the Jurassic Coast. The Museum was awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2018 and 2019.
"I have worked with BAND on numerous projects. They have never failed to impress me with their creative flair and professionalism. The Etches Collection is the latest project to benefit from their personal commitment. The logo, positioning and communication materials have consistently been of outstanding quality. They are a great team to work with – stimulating, innovative and original. I and all who are involved in the Trust highly recommend them."
Sir Michael Hobbs KCVO, CBE - The Kimmeridge Trust