Paradise Quarter

Commercial developer Blue Residences is creating an ambitious residential complex, located in the ‘posh’ suburb of Marousi. Set around an incredible park and the most ambitious business district of Athens, this new place will offer a sophisticated collection of beautiful and spacious apartments, elegant living spaces, unique amenities, smart features and stunning views towards the city. Looking to encapsulate this ‘blissful’ take on contemporary living, we helped them name, brand and shape a bold and completely new idea, which we called ‘effortless living’.

By considering the above, we positioned this place as a flourishing community at the intersection of contemporary urban and suburban living. We created a brand narrative that highlights one simple truth: this is the ideal place to live. Our first step was to name this exciting place ‘Paradise Quarter’ to reflect its scale and strategic ambition. Our concept was to make everything look ‘paradesian’ and pop, aiming to resonate with the audience, consisting of young families and first-time buyers. Drawing upon visual language often associated with paradise, we constructed fluffy cloud messages to evoke the ‘paradesian’ feeling that naturally, effortless living would evoke. The campaign launched with a small plane flying around Athens with a banner featuring the tagline ‘Effortless living forever’, positioning Paradise Quarter exactly where it is meant to exist; in the sky. Following this guerrilla marketing stint, the number of people discussing it and documenting it on social media grew rapidly, leading to high numbers of people visiting the website and the marketing film that we created. One week later, we launched the print campaign in newspapers, OOO, as well as digital ads on websites and social, expanding on the narrative. We also designed and art directed the marketing brochure, hoarding, and pavilion filled with plants and water fountains.

Aiming to avoid the slick branding typical of new developments & smart living, every creative decision that we made, was carefully orchestrated around our narrative responding to a simple question – ‘how does it feel to live in Paradise?’.

Hellenic Institute of Architecture

Since 1992, the Hellenic Institute of Architecture (EIA) have been discussing and acting on issues related to design and the built environment through a multi-faceted programme of exhibitions, events and conferences. Looking to stay relevant within the architectural scene on the back of their multi-decade stint as a cultural landmark, the Greek non-profit organisation turned to Marlon Tate for a reimagining of their brand.

Architecture is not about organising space; it’s more about creating the space and essentially constructing the presuppositions for living, in the same way that the EIA creates space for discussion and architectural ideas. On that basis, we could’t really create a static symbol for the EIA because by nature, space is fluid, variable and dynamic. And so we created a variable logo that changes shape to respond to its setting. The resulting identity system repositions EIA as a dynamic generator of space for architectural discourse, utilising the sheer scope of the discussions and ideas they make possible as its core concept. The new branding explores the possibilities of the logo as a frame to put work in, or a stage to place work on. The new identity and website of the EIA is expected to fully come into effect within the next couple of months as part of the engagement comms programme undertaken by the Berlin based shop Design Ambassador.

Jolles House

There is a crack in everything and that’s how the future gets in. Located within the mainly residential area of Bromley-By-Bow in Hackney, East London, Jolles House is a historical building named after Sir John Jolles; a city of London merchant and a member of the Worshipful Company of Drapers, who was Sheriff of London from 1605 to 1606 and elected Lord Mayor of the City in 1615. As part of an ambitious redevelopment programme by Poplar Harca and Pollard Thomas Edwards architects, the estate will now become an ambitious landmark building providing 70 new residential units within two buildings for young professionals interested in culture and East London’s famously vibrant community. Ahead of its launch, Marlon Tate created a new place narrative, brand identity, a tile-based environmental graphic system and launch campaign for the redeveloped Estate.

Our strategy was informed by the City of London itself, highlighting the fact that in this globally celebrated capital, past, present and future coexist in the most extraordinary ways. Inspired by heritage, local vernacular, British typography and specificity of place, our brand identity, wayfinding and marketing campaign for the landmark building echoes London’s past and present by drawing upon the disrupted aesthetic of old and new layers of torn up posters. That’s probably how the future gets in anyway.

Ilior coliving

Ilior is Greece’s first major co-living scheme. Formed in 2018 by Daniel Lyssy, it aims to create exceptional spaces for young and creative professionals who work from home. Ilior One —launched in the centre of Athens— is the first of the brand’s instalments. Indeed, Ilior is in the process of building an ambitious network of plug-and-play spaces and buildings across the nation, that will radically transform the way Greeks live.

We were given creative freedom to brand this unique scheme. Similarly to other Mediterranean South European capitals, Athens is not very familiar with the concept of co-living. With this in mind, we decided to change the subject completely and position Ilior as an imaginary country.

Inspired by the notion that ‘our house is our castle’, we developed an overarching modular and flexible identity system that draws upon the idea of a ‘special place’. For this purpose, a responsive brandmark that references the concept of a flag becomes central to the identity. A flag of an imaginary country where people can dream freely; work collaboratively; debate fruitfully and develop. By drawing upon the flexible architecture of Ilior spaces, the brandmark expands and contracts across different formats, as required. To further illustrate its uniqueness, the colour palette embraces bright pop colours, that no country in the world would ever use for its national flag. This country is entirely imaginary. In fact, that is its strength. Welcome to the land of the dreamers.

The fictitious identity of Xenia hotels

In the early 50s, after two world wars and one civil war, the Greek state was effectively bankrupt. On that basis, the Greek government decided to initiate the ambitious Xenia project; a nationwide hotel construction programme aimed at creating accommodation infrastructure. That would set the basis for the development of a tourist industry, to contribute in rebooting the economy. Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s the 59 functioning Xenia Hotels thrived financially. Although widely celebrated for their glorious post-war modernist architecture, they however never had a consistent visual identity. By the 1990’s, after decades of mismanagement, the Xenia project became inextricably linked to the Greek financial meltdown and fell into administration.

By blurring the boundaries between tourism, graphics, and fiction, ‘The fictitious visual identity programme of Xenia Hotels’ is a concept project within which we travelled back in time to create the visual identity of the once glorious, now abandoned Xenia Hotels in Greece. In collaboration with photographer Polly Brown, we created an ambitious image series presenting the imagined brand identity within a past that never happened. In this past, the Xenia hotels flourished; the de-industrialisation of Greece did not happen in the 70s. By the mid-80s the famous Omonia square in Athens was not reduced into a concrete platform and after 2011, 400.000 Greeks never left the country because there was no crisis to escape from. An alternative past has the opportunity to become a brilliant future. Fictitious, but brilliant.

‘The fictitious visual identity programme of Xenia Hotels’ is the first instalment of Time travel branding; a trilogy of concept projects advocating design as a form of speculative research and presented as a series of talks across Europe and the US.

 

115-119 Wallis Road

‘Nikos Georgopoulos adopts a ‘back-to-basics’ mindset with his unusual identity for Wallis Road’. — The Brand Identity, 2021

115–119 Wallis Road is a property development and regeneration project. Consisting of affordable workspaces, retail and apartment buildings, it was proposed and designed by London-based architecture firm Pollard Thomas Edwards. It is located in the heart of Hackney Wick, London’s industrial district turned cultural and creative hub. Facing the challenge of convincing the sceptical local community of the project’s necessity, as well as raising awareness of its regenerative aspirations, we devised its visual identity, strategy and communications.

Inspired by Hackney Wick’s transition from industry to creativity, we decided to establish the regeneration of 115–119 Wallis Road as a ‘cultural moment,’ instead of just another new development. Intentionally avoiding any of the slickness typical to new developments, our solution builds upon Hackney Wick’s plethora of music festival posters and their bold repetition of colour. An aesthetic decision made with the desire to first and foremost resonate with the sceptical local community. Undeniably, people perceive regeneration projects as the beginning of social cleansing and gentrification of their area. So having something slick, that you’d expect to see in South Kensington, for example, would probably signal the wrong message.

For this purpose, the resulting identity system revolves around straightforward and lo-fi elements. Horizontal stripes in an unusual combination of brown and blue, complimented by a pairing of two classic typefaces. Uppercase Helvetica supported by Avenir. Recreating a “kind of music festival excitement,” where not worrying too much about legibility, was all part of the plan.

 

The fictitious identity of Xenia hotels

In the early 50s, after two world wars and one civil war, the Greek state was effectively bankrupt. On that basis, the Greek government decided to initiate the ambitious Xenia project; a nationwide hotel construction programme aimed at creating accommodation infrastructure. That would set the basis for the development of a tourist industry, to contribute in rebooting the economy. Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s the 59 functioning Xenia Hotels thrived financially. Although widely celebrated for their glorious post-war modernist architecture, they however never had a consistent visual identity. By the 1990’s, after decades of mismanagement, the Xenia project became inextricably linked to the Greek financial meltdown and fell into administration.

By blurring the boundaries between tourism, graphics, and fiction, ‘The fictitious visual identity programme of Xenia Hotels’ is a concept project within which we travelled back in time to create the visual identity of the once glorious, now abandoned Xenia Hotels in Greece. In collaboration with photographer Polly Brown, we created an ambitious image series presenting the imagined brand identity within a past that never happened. In this past, the Xenia hotels flourished; the de-industrialisation of Greece did not happen in the 70s. By the mid-80s the famous Omonia square in Athens was not reduced into a concrete platform and after 2011, 400.000 Greeks never left the country because there was no crisis to escape from. An alternative past has the opportunity to become a brilliant future. Fictitious, but brilliant.

‘The fictitious visual identity programme of Xenia Hotels’ is the first instalment of Time travel branding; a trilogy of concept projects advocating design as a form of speculative research and presented as a series of talks across Europe and the US.

 

Dove Rooms

Dove Rooms is a small multi-purpose community space. Developed for the residents of Dover Court Estate, the aim was to create new homes on council-owned land. Dove Rooms were designed and built as part of the London Borough of Islington’s estate-wide regeneration programme.

The main idea behind Dove Rooms is that residents can self-manage their space. The freedom of non-direct involvement from the council, would allow different uses and activities in the space to emerge. We developed a modern and engaging overarching brand identity and signage system inspired by this idea. Our response was to develop a flexible identity to accommodate the multi-purpose nature of Dove Rooms. Central to the identity is a custom alphabet that draws upon the aesthetic of DIY lettering often associated with self-governed, autonomous spaces. By combining the letters ‘D’ and ‘R’, we created an accompanying monogram. Further developing this into an abstract pattern, employing it for manifestations and complimentary visual signs.

 

 

Redbridge

We were asked by the London Borough of Redbridge to create an overarching engagement communications strategy for two residential developments – Loxford Lane and Seven Kings. Though the sites are linked and were to be promoted with the same look and feel, each has its own vision and typology. The challenge of the brief was therefore to reflect the bespoke architectural response on each site, and at the same time tie them together graphically.

Redbridge, named after a red brick bridge which crossed the River Roding and was demolished in 1922, inspired the concept of a bridge between words and shapes. We created a font constructed with references to the bridge shape and used this to brand the developments. Each site then had its own separate graphic system while sharing an overarching creative idea.

Initially a communications strategy including a logo, flyers and consultation boards, the project developed to include a comprehensive place brand and advertising campaign of Redbridge.

 

 

 

Alma London

We have been working with Countryside Properties and Newlon on the regeneration of the 1960s Alma Estate in Ponders End, Enfield. The new masterplan creates nearly 1,000 new homes, with new community facilities, reintegrating the estate with the surrounding neighbourhood.

The primary route through Alma is a key access point into the Nature Reserve, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the bird populations supported by the reservoirs. The majority of new homes in Phase 1 will overlook the Nature Reserve, which is reflected in the masterplan, landscaping and design of individual buildings. Many of the building in the local area are also named after birds, including the tower blocks on the existing Alma Estate (Kestrel, Curlew, Cormorant & Merlin House). The new visual identity is intentionally restrained and celebrates this local tradition and the open public space fit for a thriving community.

At the core of the identity is a custom typeface, designed to reference the physiological structure of birds’ feet. The colour and material palette pay tribute to the texture and natural tones of the Portland stone and steel of the physical site, conveying a sense of timeless elegance and permanence.

 

 

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