This project started with me asking myself, What might you find in a National Parks gift shop? I had the goal of creating something useful, insightful, and engaging, and I went through a lot of different ideas: mugs, stickers, patches, coloring books, etc. But then I thought: what would really be useful? What could I create that hikers or backpackers or campers might need in their day-to-day activities? And that’s when the idea of a matchbox came to me.
Acadia National Park was founded in 1916 and named Acadia in 1929. This was the era of art deco design: flat illustrations paired with harsh gradients. So it only felt right that the cover illustration and typography reflected this. I’m really happy with how the final matchbox came out; I wanted this piece to reflect the history of Acadia, and the experiences that make it special. Showcasing the fun fact on the back of the matchbox helped give this piece an educational flair while still being exciting and useful. Check out some initial sketches below.
It was hard to pick which national park I would showcase. There are so many beautiful parks, but I felt it was only right to choose one I’d been to before, so Acadia came to mind immediately. My trip to Maine’s most well-known national park was filled with climbing on rocks, admiring the pine trees, and soaking up the sun. After doing a bit more research into the park, I found out about Cadillac Mountain, which is the first place in the United States to see the sunrise each morning. This fascinated me, so much so it inspired the design on the front cover and the fun fact on the back.
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