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.

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

Leon of Athens

Leon of Athens is a Greek-born indie pop star who is now based in London. His new album, entitled ‘Xenos’ (foreigner) features 11 songs echoing the feeling of being a foreigner, a stranger to a new country as well as to yourself. This eclectic spirit was important to convey visually in the artwork, as well as portraying a strong sense of the artist’s personality. The fragmented nature of the market makes it essential the concept engages across wide variety of formats – print to digital – to create an integrated release and a holistic visual universe. Our solution takes its inspiration from Skype and long distance relationships and references the need for communication with our external as well as our internal worlds. The album packaging consists of a sleeve with a cut-out set of multiple Skype windows through which one can see the inner cover of the cd-case with the artist’s face and another Skype window, which shows a cut-out part of the same face.

Ahead of Leon of Athens’ album release, we also designed a three-single promotional campaign and a website in order to set the conceptual and visual tone, teasing each single through a Skype window.

Leon of Athens

Leon of Athens is a Greek-born indie pop star who is now based in London. His new album, entitled ‘Xenos’ (foreigner) features 11 songs echoing the feeling of being a foreigner, a stranger to a new country as well as to yourself. This eclectic spirit was important to convey visually in the artwork, as well as portraying a strong sense of the artist’s personality. The fragmented nature of the market makes it essential the concept engages across wide variety of formats – print to digital – to create an integrated release and a holistic visual universe. Our solution takes its inspiration from Skype and long distance relationships and references the need for communication with our external as well as our internal worlds. The album packaging consists of a sleeve with a cut-out set of multiple Skype windows through which one can see the inner cover of the cd-case with the artist’s face and another Skype window, which shows a cut-out part of the same face.

Ahead of Leon of Athens’ album release, we also designed a three-single promotional campaign and a website in order to set the conceptual and visual tone, teasing each single through a Skype window.

UDO

We designed and art directed the new visual identity and brand advertising of UDO —an ambitious company specialising in customisable, multipurpose lighting kits and objects that are made with digital fabrication technology and algorithm based design. The new brand identity is centred around a new custom logotype that experiments with the fundamental parameters of letterforms, and references the brand’s algorithmic design process. Following the successful brand identity, we also created a brand new website and catalogue that can be experienced as a lexicon of references highlighting the algorithmic nature of design.

 

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