Paint the Town and Get Away With It

It’s not every day I get tasked to design something as cool as the signage on an 88-year-old warehouse. Having a canvas to work with that’s on the National Register of Historic Places is always a bonus. Last year, I helped rebrand the agency’s visual identity, and I jumped at the chance to take it one step further.

Working with a historical building in the warehouse district, I wanted a design that preserved and complemented the aesthetic of the neighborhood.  We didn’t want to drastically change its appearance, just add a bit of our creative flair to it.

There were some parameters I had to work within, like the indestructible yellow paint line through the middle of the wall acting as the last tenant’s signage.

I determined the best way to overcome this was to embrace it—the design for our signage will paint over the yellow line with fresh white paint without destroying the original brick behind it. Then, the painters will add the agency’s name and logo, hopefully ending up with a historic look to match the style of the building and neighborhood.

The end result is a grey band around three sides of the building with the agency name on the north side in a reddish-brown that matches the surrounding brick. Our large watermarked logo is cropped within the band on two sides of the building.

The result is a classic design with a subtle nod to the warehouse’s history and future. I think the final art maintains the integrity of the building and its historical significance, blending right in with the neighborhood and paying homage to its gritty look.