With over 20 years in the communication design business, Janke is experienced at the exploration process required to create, or reveal, an appropriate brand identity. So, when Janke was hired to create a brand identity for EastVillage, a new 425 acre mixed-use residential community located in the heart of the north east tech corridor in Austin’s burgeoning Upper East Side, we knew we needed to capture both aspects of its contemporary living and the eclectic “Keep Austin Weird” vibe that Austinite’s know and love.
With the urban density having expansive green spaces, office spaces, retail and entertainment venues, the identity needed to personify the collective of the live, work, and lifestyle culture designed to organically attract the creative business class that makes Austin’s Upper East Side so unique and attractive.
Sculpting the Project Vision
A Vision Narrative was created by our team member Salas PR to capture the aspirational vision for the development, which was then used internally by all teams, to inform a unified approach going forward. The narrative was created to affirm elements that should be considered as “must have” or “must do” elements. The document influenced further thought and interpretation for the architectural and graphic design, as well as the project’s messaging and marketing campaign going forward.
Early in the document, we introduced the reference of Austin’s Upper East Side as a geographic indicator for EastVillage. It is a fairly new term for Austin, and has proactively linked the two together to help establish a broader context for the development . Austin’s Upper East Side is synonymous with East Village.
Being the symbolic representation of a brand, the brand identity, or logo, is an important part of the overall brand presence. It should be a distinctive and meaningful mark that when used properly, resinates with the target audience. We began by understanding the vision narrative, then researching and creating mood boards to help the client understand the unique areas of exploration of potential design styles and their emotional impact, then studying different compositions and viable visual elements in the form thumbnail sketches.
Discovery and Concepting
From our discovery phase we got to know the client and projects needs and goals. We ask questions, listened, and got to know the history and vision for where they saw the development in the future.
Original concepts were created through quick, rough, hand drawn thumbnail pen or pencil sketches. Thumbnail sketching is one of the fastest and most effective ways to get an idea out of your head for others to see.
With over 200 thumbnail concepts created, only eight went on to the next phase of exploration and development.
Once the first batch of sketches were ready to review, the team collaborated to determine which concepts were worthy of further exploration and development. It’s at this important point when the team members have to continually repeat the vision narrative to themselves, to make sure each concept being considered has the potential to properly communicate the brand.
Once the team uncovered the concept that they felt had the potential to represent the vision narrative accurately, the next phase was to transfer the concepts to a digital form and expand the studies to include tighter typography and color. Note: Just because the concepts were now on the computer, additional design refinements and exploration continues to take place for each option. It’s during the design development process where the true identity reveals itself in its authenticity and potential.
Final Identity Design
Confident / Emphatic / Evocative / Versatile / Suggestive
Finally, after countless iterations, internal critiquing sessions, and refinements based on client feedback, an identity is chosen that accurately represents the EastVillage vibe. However, finalizing the logo does not mean the process stops. As a firm that prides itself in our comprehensive brand approach, Janke is always thinking ahead about how a brand can be applied in interesting and innovative ways. For EastVillage, the arrow element presented a unique opportunity to be a dynamic element that changes based on the context it’s being used for, which creates very cool opportunities as it’s rolled out into the different applications