Ben.

Me, You and the Zoo

Take a trip back in time with Me, You and the Zoo, the living archive of Chester Zoo.

It was mid 2014 and the BBC were busy readying Our Zoo, a drama chronicling the origins of Chester Zoo. The zoo themselves wanted to capitalise on the forthcoming surge of interest in its history, and was creating the offline campaign 'Me, You and the Zoo' to highlight key moments since the park's opening. But there was a wealth of historical documents, photographs, and videos that were missing from it.

Our response was to create a true online archive that held the history and memories of not only Chester Zoo but its loyal visitors too. It was a gateway to the zoo’s humble beginnings and to a time when children could get mere inches away from a Hippo’s hungry jaws. Launched and promoted alongside the episodic series, the site boasted large visitor numbers and continues to grow with new stories and memories to this day.

Mobile

For inspiration I turned to the old zoo brochures and flyers we'd been given. What if Chester Zoo had a 'website' back in the 50s or the 70s? This is what it could've looked like.

1930s

Each decade is a timeline of memories and media from the zoo's archive.

1960s

The frames around each piece of content adapt to the era too; from ornate picture frames to polaroids, and CRTs to flat-screens.

1980s

Using the toggle next to the logo, users can switch between zoo and visitor memories.

2010s

The timeline takes users all the way up to the present day.

A memory A memory