A new branded South Loop
Columbia students work with Fioretti, community groups to create new banners
04/04/2012 10:00 PM
The South Loop is getting a new brand.
Through a partnership with Ald. Bob Fioretti’s office (2nd) and the Greater South Loop Association, a group of Columbia College advertising students have come up with a new set of logos that will be used on street banners around the South Loop.
But rather than just create a single unified identity for the whole neighborhood, the plan emphasizes seven different sub-areas of the South Loop, in an effort to promote its different pieces.
The scheme revolves around iconic buildings from each of the different neighborhoods identified by the students: Central Station, Printers Row, Record Row, Film Row, Motor Row, the Prairie District and the Museum Campus. Each has at least one building that has been taken and reduced to a single-color block.
Though they were guided by the Greater South Loop Association, the project was developed by six Columbia students taking a class called “advertising agency,” where they do real-world work for nonprofit clients.
“The idea behind it was to brand the entire South Loop and make it just as important an area as, say, Lincoln Park,” said Emily Bertino, a Columbia senior working on the project. “We found that it was important to represent all the different areas. We thought it would be important not to just create an identity for the entire South Loop, but for the individual areas.”
For Central Station, they’ve mocked up both the old Central Station itself and One Museum Park. For Motor Row, they mocked up the Motor Row Lofts and the BF Goodrich Building. For Printers Row, it was Dearborn Station. For the Prairie District, the Clark House. For Record Row, Chess Records. For the Museum Campus, the Field Museum. For Film Row, the Columbia Media Building.
One building from each of the areas will be on the banners, and the tentative plan is for each neighborhood to adopt one of the CTA system’s colors. Depending on the area the street banners or signs are mounted in, the banner will take on that color, and the key building will rotate to the front.
Jeanette Johnson, the Greater South Loop Association’s vice president, helped advise the students, visiting the class on a weekly basis to check in on their progress. She said the branding project should help the neighborhood raise its profile.
“We’ve never had anything like this in the South Loop before,” Johnson said. “All the other neighborhoods, you drive through and you see this kind of stuff. But we don’t have that.”
For his part, Fioretti said he doesn’t have any money earmarked yet for the signs, but is working with the Department of Housing and Economic Development and the Department of Transportation to get cash to put up the signs.
“We’re still in the planning stages,” Fioretti said. “The next stage is to take this to all the groups that are affected by it and have them look at it. Hopefully, [the students] can finalize this, and I’ll see what we can do to get funding for the project.”