115-119 Wallis Road
ClientEast London Regeneration Ltd
Pollard Thomas Edwards
‘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.