South Loop a neighborhood of neighborhoods
that's the new brand
03/25/2012 11:40 AM
I was pretty skeptical a while back when the board of the Greater South Loop Association decided to engage the skills of Columbia College students to rebrand the South Loop. I was so skeptical, I devoted a whole column to same.
But the students--under the strict supervision of the GSLA board--returned with the finished product yesterday morning, unveiling it at GSLA's community meeting. And guess what? I love it! Now all it takes is Alderman Fioretti's office to transfer the concept onto banners for hanging in the neighborhood: appropriately conceived by Columbia College advertising students as a "neighborhood of neighborhoods."
When the students--all four residents of the South Loop--proudly branded the South Loop a neighborhood of several neighborhoods, one attendee took issue with the fact that Dearborn Park didn't make the cut.
But the concept is simple: Each neighborhood has an iconic image created in one of seven "L" route colors. Since there are eight routes/colors, they haven't decided whether to use the color brown or pink for the Film Row neighborhood image (Columbia College's media production center at 16th and State). My suggestion: get rid of the yellow in the design--the color of the Skokie Swift which runs from Howard to Dempster, since that is the only line that comes nowhere near the South Loop. Or else add a townhouse from Dearborn Park as an eighth image.
The icons are overlaid upon each other in a spiffy graphic that allows each to be recognized, merged into the overall design--and yet stand out. The design can stand on its own with the same banner put all around the entire neighborhood. Or different banners can be manufactured for each of the designated neighborhoods--such as Motor Row and Record Row, Printers Row, Central Station and Prairie District. And the image that represents the neighborhood can be pulled out and put on top in some visually impactful way.
All in all, it's a winning concept for a diverse neighborhood.