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New Banners on Main Street Celebrate History

Bright new banners inviting everyone to “Celebrate the History of Ridgefield” with the Ridgefield Historical Society go up on lamp posts in town this week, a reminder of the busy spring ahead.

Bright new banners inviting everyone to “Celebrate the History of Ridgefield” with the Ridgefield Historical Society went up on lamp posts in town this week, a reminder of the busy spring ahead. 

Events will range from more details on Battle of Ridgefield studies to the Battle of Ridgefield 245th anniversary weekend (April 29-May 1), featuring a re-enactment of the crucial encounter on Main Street. Other activities during the weekend will include the Musket Ball, narrated walking tours along Main Street, and an archaeological dig and demonstration for the public on the Scott House grounds. The weekend will culminate with a symbolic ceremony honoring the remains of what are believed to be four soldiers from the battle, whose skeletons were found in a shallow grave off Main Street in 2019.

The new banners, designed for the Ridgefield Historical Society by Phil Yarnall of North Salem, highlight our 1714 Scott House headquarters, a riff on an image created by designer Mara Freeman, for the Picturing Our Past: In-Gallery and Online Exhibition, a joint project of the Ridgefield Historical Society and the Ridgefield Guild of Artists. Each work in the show is inspired by the history of Ridgefield, and many used the Ridgefield Historical Society collection as their muse.

Designer Phil Yarnall
Designer Phil Yarnall

While Phil Yarnall has spent more than 30 years designing for the music and entertainment world, specializing in deluxe packaging and box sets (for artists including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Hank Williams), he’s been branching out recently to help small businesses and organizations with design identity/branding. He believes “Good design makes people connect and be curious” and that’s a goal the Ridgefield Historical Society embraces. 

His first design for RHS brought the LEGO® Sculpture Contest to life and he later helped update the RHS logo for its 20th anniversary. Most recently, in addition to the lamp post banners, Phil refined the 245th Battle of Ridgefield anniversary design, created originally by Town of Ridgefield intern Isabel Griffith.

While his design work takes him in many directions, he’s found a source of inspiration at the Scott House. “I’ve always had a soft spot for old stuff. Vintage typography, antique packaging, and that sort of thing. I can’t wait to take a deeper dive into the archives and see what there is to work with … definitely a ‘hidden treasure!’” he said.

At his studio, SMAY Design in North Salem, NY, he’s worked with musicians ranging from the Jimi Hendrix estate to AC/DC to the Tedeschi Trucks Band; he’s also designed logos for distilleries, music festivals, and music stores including Gerosa Records in Brookfield. “I even designed a logo for a Ridgefield resident as a gift for her husband who was going to start a new business,” Yarnall said. “I really enjoy making people happy with a well-crafted logo that speaks to who they are and what their business is all about.” To see some of his past work and make contact, visit www.smaydesign.com.

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