In the Making: VUE53 Brand Strategy + Graphics

Up the street from the University of Chicago’s urban campus and less than a mile from Lake Michigan, Vue53 is the newest addition to Hyde Park’s rapidly evolving skyline. A mixed-use development by Avison Young and Peak Campus, Vue53 will provide 267 new apartments, modern amenities, and 28,000 sf of retail space for Hyde Park residents, as well as University students and staff. Vue53 is also the result of a collaborative process between Valerio Dewalt Train Associates’ (VDTA) architectural team and Media Objectives (M-O), the firm’s in-house, interdisciplinary design studio.

Working alongside the VDTA architectural team and the Searl Lamaster Howe interiors team, M-O developed a brand strategy that responds directly to the unique character of Hyde Park and the building’s architectural design.

“Media Objectives was involved with the project from day one,” says Joe Lawton, M-O’s Managing Director. “From helping the team on our original bid, to community immersions, and collaborating on the overall design, we have been in conversation with the architects and stakeholders at every point of the process. This allowed our team to develop a brand strategy that responds to the target market, the architectural design and the client’s needs.”

Vue53 sits in the heart of the Hyde Park’s historic 53rd street commercial corridor. Its modern, gridded, glass façade presents a fresh contrast to the area’s early 20th Century vernacular of brick 3-flats and wood frame homes. Once completed, the building will become a new icon for the neighborhood, alongside Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and Doug Garafalo’s Hyde Park Art Center.

“It was important to us that the building and brand strategy responded to the context of the neighborhood. The end result is a design that is emblematic of Vue53’s modern architecture, while also reflective of the vibrant Hyde Park community.” – James Hanson, Principal, Avison Young

The brand strategy takes cues from the building’s underlying concept and design language. The overall visual identity of the logo is inspired by the sharp, orthogonal architecture. The custom letterforms of the logo maintain a slim profile and square proportion, allowing for a gridded layout responding to the façade design, while rounded edges on select characters evoke a sleek, futuristic sensibility.

Two color schemes were developed for the brand marketing and architectural identity. The palette borrows bright blue and green tones from Nichols Park across the street. A darker blue-gray grounds the vibrant hues and relates back to the building’s finishes, while a strong use of black and white brings a modern sensibility to the brand.

A series of custom graphic patterns were developed for use across multiple medium types, including print, digital and environmental applications. Abstracted from the vertical lines and movement across the building’s façade, the patterns express the energy, urbanity and vitality of Hyde Park and Vue53. On the interior, environmental wall graphics featuring the patterns will bring a fresh pop of color into the space while providing a sense of wayfinding.

 

Until then, supersized banners mounted to the construction scaffolding feature the graphic patterns that move with the flow of traffic along 53rd street. Additionally, the design team covered the red brick exterior of the temporary leasing office with a solid black vinyl that is offset with a white logo above the window. The façade treatment breaks away from the vernacular of the neighboring retail stores, activating the temporary space and signaling to the future of 53rd street.

That future, for Vue53 and Hyde Park, is slated to become a reality this fall.

Project Team

Art Director: Joe Lawton, M-O
Brand Strategist & Designer: Freddy Eschrich, M-O
Graphic Designers: Taylor Loutsis & Ellen Bean, M-O

Collaborators

Development & Management Team: Avison Young + Peak Campus
Architect: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Interior Designers: Searl Lamaster Howe
Collaborators: Cushing (Environmental Graphics) / Poblocki (Signage)

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