Prior to the kickoff meeting, 501 Studios identified its differentiating characteristics; the defining brand traits that make it distinctive from the new co-working spaces popping up in every city. The 501 team described 501 Studios as workspace that is (1) creative (2) has a community environment that feels (3) informal, is (4) human [in] scale and is (5) authentically rooted in Austin.
The management looked to current tenants as the model tenants they’d like to continue to attract in the future. They realized that of their tenants today:
-80%+ are 55 or younger
-Mostly in “creative” businesses
-Most companies are under 10 people
-About 70% of people who come and see the property end up signing a lease
-Hope to grow their businesses
We tailored the design, color palette, and brand application to appeal to a broad audience of creative professionals and small business owners in a way that authentically communicates the spirit of the 501 Studios community.
The first round of logos focused on typographic treatments of the letterforms. The 501 itself would become the identity graphic. Since this is a real estate location, the use of typography as the brand itself is a typical and practical approach.
While they were correct and hitting the mark, by the first refinement round, there was a stall. In the process of developing a criteria, the team at 501 evolved in their thinking about whether or not they wanted / needed an icon-based identity–that is, whether they wanted or needed a logo with a graphic rather than a purely typography based one. They began to realize that the graphic, a little icon they could use with or without the wordmark, had more uses than they’d originally anticipated.
So as we inched closer to the logo, we changed course. Back to the drawing board for a new round of logos, this time focusing on creating an icon to go with a typed wordmark.