It’s not every day you can wander into a neighborhood vibrant with multicultural restaurants, donned with whimsical boutiques and buzzing with musical venues. But that’s the everyday normal for residents of the Adams Morgan neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
Preserving the peculiarity and weirdness that makes Adams Morgan a destination for visitors and safe home for residents is the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District (AMPBID). Since the non-profit was formed in 2005, AMPBID has focused on three specific areas: cleanliness, safety and marketing.
The Adams Morgan neighborhood was looking for new ways to attract visitors and entice residents to see their own neighborhood as a destination. Part of this effort would include overcoming outdated stereotypes while honoring the rich history and embracing the new opportunities that popped up every day.
To better understand how we could address AMPBID’s intent, we immersed ourselves in the culture. It wasn’t a stretch of a task seeing that we, too, call Adams Morgan home and the official headquarters of our company. We performed a variety of research methods from a series of workshops with local AMPBID members to historical research. We even adopted an objective lens as we explored other nearby neighborhoods and went on walks around our own.
Our team quickly realized that an updated brand identity would be the perfect way for Adams Morgan to begin its transformation. The identity would encapsulate all we had learned to project the right blend of fun and sophistication.
Our team developed several packages of identity concepts, each with their own logo, color palette, graphic and photo treatment style. We narrowed the direction through iterative feedback and refinement and established the identity used throughout the neighborhood today.
A logo with clean lines, simple shapes and friendly accent colors would serve as the perfect juxtaposition to the fine art featured on our streetlight banners throughout Adams Morgan. The branding seamlessly fits within the eclectic vibe of the neighborhood’s diverse offerings, while still prompting passersby and residents to take a second look. To assist with the scale of the brand, we developed a robust style guide and library of designed assets for AMPBID to produce cohesive, branded materials in house.
Today, every communication, both print and digital, from AMPBID features the logo and artwork we proudly created for the place we call home. The brand persists and has matured in AMPBID’s hands: Online engagement has increased since the deployment of the new identity and AMPBID employees regularly wear the logo with pride. The charm, coherence and recognizability of their materials has helped to attract new visitors and businesses while boosting the spirit of the neighborhood.