Responses by Emily Atwood, lead designer, Pentagram
Background: The identity introduces Politan Row as a new name for the food halls operating in New Orleans, Miami, Chicago and opening later this Fall, Houston, which were previously known as St. Roch Market, a reference to the original location in New Orleans. The name Politan means “of the people,” capturing a sense of community and hospitality. Our task was to create a flexible system that embodies the ideas of community and diversity. The target audience of Politan Row is anyone who enjoys eclectic food experiences and has a desire to engage with others.
Reasoning: The word Politan comes from the Greek root polis which means city, citizenship or body of people; it can also mean one who is equally at home all over the world. This definition lends itself to a language that is inspired by newspaper editorial design. Newspapers are representative of opinions, perspective and the exchange of information. The Politan Row logo system was visualized into a set of diverse “masthead” designs to be used in combination with one another. This also reflects the variety of food and beverages that Politan Row offers.
Challenges: Creating a cohesive system with six different type styles. Brand consistency is achieved through a simplified color palette, cohesive letterforms and the bold tonality of its application.
Favorite details: The freedom to mix different typographic styles and to have it make sense is exciting; it creates an eclectic feeling. This is evidenced in a lot of the editorial work and in various print materials where the P is used both as a logo and as a graphic element used on a spread or showcased on an application.
Visual influences: Newspaper editorial design in its aesthetic and structural sense. We wanted to create a set of bold, large masthead logos to echo this feeling. Another influence came from Victorian Woodtype and the print materials used in New Orleans. They were bold in their typographic expressions and would showcase a variety of type styles. The diversity of type styles was a beautiful tie-in to the wide-range of food and beverage offerings that Politan Row offers.
Anything new: The process of creating this identity was an exploration into creating a modern interpretation of a historical design reference. We studied how these historical letterforms were constructed and how they were utilized. In addition, this was an exercise in learning what creates cohesion in a brand identity. Many people think that the way to achieve consistency in a brand is to rely on one logo, and the idea of using more than one can seem absurd. However, it can be a consistent form, color or expression of typography that can create this sense of uniformity.