Turning 200. A truly historic brand identity campaign and statewide initiative for the Alabama Bicentennial.
The Alabama Bicentennial Commission approached Tatum Design several years ago to help create a small printed piece that would encourage travel and tourism throughout the state leading up to the 200th anniversary of statehood. As a creative design and branding agency, Tatum envisioned something much bigger. We saw the opportunity to create a dynamic initiative that would set the tone for the entire statewide celebration and bring to life Alabama history like never before. This visionary idea birthed the PastPort Initiative, book and app.
Our goal was to instill pride in the hearts of Alabamians everywhere by celebrating every county in the state, big and small, equally. Inspired by historical people, places and events, Tatum named the initiative and crafted an immersive brand that would allow people of all ages to personally connect with Alabama history and chronicle their adventures at stamp sites within every county as they explored the state. Our team intentionally planned for the PastPort book to serve as an educational resource, travel guide and commemorative keepsake all in one.
Prior to the implementation of the PastPort initiative, Tatum tested its concept through extensive visioning exercises and helped attract major sponsors, such as Mercedes and Verizon, by designing thorough prototypes that demonstrated how all of the brand touchpoints would work together cohesively. From conception to launch, the project took 18 months to complete and required the tireless dedication of Tatum’s entire creative team.
We designed custom artwork and wrote original narratives for all 67 counties as well as each of the seven geographical regions in Alabama. The curation of subject matter was a collaborative process between Tatum and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission with special input from state archivists, historians and the Encyclopedia of Alabama. Our desire to tell the full, unbridled story of our state, not just the familiar accounts covered in fourth grade Alabama history, required countless hours of research. For the larger counties where well-known events took place, we dug deeper to bring the lesser-known details to light. While researching smaller, more rural counties, we were led on adventures and field trips that uncovered more pieces of the puzzle and confirmed that every square inch of Alabama is uniquely fascinating, and every county plays an important role in the larger story of our state.
There is no question this was a once-in-a-lifetime passion project. As Alabamians and as creatives, we felt a deep sense of responsibility to capture the true spirit of our people, our land and our history. The Alabama Bicentennial PastPort Initiative has earned 39 creative awards at the local, regional and national levels. The PastPort book, app, posters and materials are now apart of public school curriculum and are utilized in classrooms across the state. We are truly honored to have led the creative efforts of this monumental initiative, and we are humbled by the overwhelming impact the initiative is making on the state of Alabama.