The Avon Historical Society both wants to focus on the past and the future at the same time.
And with so much going on in the busy volunteer nonprofit organization, President Terri Wilson felt now was the right time to go all in on a new branding strategy and a major website overhaul.
"The old website was done more than 10 years ago," Wilson said. "It was a complicated site to try and keep updated. It didn't have a good look. Everyone is into branding. We thought this was a good opportunity to not only brand ourselves but use the new website to launch it. We can now keep the look going all the time so we're recognizable."
With funding provided through the William A. Yandow Trust, the historical society hired Brigitte Soucy, from the Avon-based PairDesign.
"She came to us with a proposal," Wilson said. "Some of the stuff she put in our proposal was making sure that you're bringing the website into today's world. You want the first impression to be light, fresh, and open."
A number of other enhancements were added to the new website, some subtle while others are more noticeable. There is a scrolling banner, artwork, historically accurate colors, new photographs, and more. To go along with all that is matching branding, which means all promotional and marketing materials will carry the same logos, lettering, and colors that will help give the group uniformity across the board.
"Being a daughter town of Farmington, our main history comes under Farmington," Wilson said. "This gives us a chance to really focus on Avon."
The final product, at avonhistoricalsociety.org, is something Wilson hopes will jumpstart a new era for the Avon Historical Society, a group that she says works well because of its volunteers taking initiative on projects.
And 2017 was the right time for the historical society, which Wilson has been apart of for nearly 30 years, to take this step.
"The rebranding is pretty bold for us," Wilson said. "It's a comprehensive change from the way we've done things. We've never done this before. We've needed to do this for a long time. We are a very active organization. A lot of organizations don't have active boards. This board is doing stuff all the time. We are tapping into that. The board is really stepping up and our volunteers have done some tremendous work."
The new year will bring the start of a few major planning projects. That includes the approaching 200 year anniversary of Avon's School House Three. That isn't until 2023, which might seem far away, but Wilson is dedicated to thinking towards the future. They will start planning for that this coming year.
"I like to look ahead," Wilson said. "I like to look at what's coming. We are working on the history, but we are also working on the future."
And they'd love to hear anyone who shares a similar passion for local history as they do.
"We are open to new ideas and thoughts and actions," Wilson said. "We encourage people to join us and learn about our history."