For my thesis during my undergrad, I decided to do a branding project. The project was branding the neighbourhoods of Toronto, along Queen Street. The neighbourhoods that I focused on were Parkdale, West Queen West, Downtown, Corktown, Riverside, Leslieville, and The Beaches. To start off, I went to each area and spent time there photographing the area and experiencing it and soaking up everything there was to offer. I then took the experience as well as the character and the sensibility of each area and reflected those qualities into brand identities. The final result was six different series ranging in very similar to very distinct. In each series was one logo for each area for a total of 42 logo marks. I decided to take two of the series further and created applications for them. The series I chose were very different from each other. The first one was a historically inspired series that reflected the history and the progression of the neighbourhood. The second one was a more contemporary series which reflected the personality of each area as it is today. The applications done were a banner that would go on the street lamp posts in the area and a postcard that would be in the businesses and restaurants in the area. The banners featured different versions of the logos as well as a photograph that captured the disposition of the area in an abstract way. The postcards also feature a version of the logos along with a map of the area and a legend that identifies where the area is located in relation to the rest.
Doing a project like this allowed me to look at identity design in a completely new way. Rather than using the standard "brand attributes" that are provided by the company, I was able to use new more conceptual methods to determine the identity of an entity. I was also able to see how things work together in a series. Having a set of logos that range from very similar to completely different from each other but still work as a whole was a challenge. I was able to work with new constraints and difficulties which allowed me to push myself with my design and framework.
Overall I felt I overcame these challenges and achieved a harmony with each series. I had an awesome time working on this project and am extremely happy with the outcome. I learned a lot and changed a lot and it was an amazing experience.
Below you will find the final series as well as examples of the applications along with some of the photography done during the project.