Based in NYC, Maslow Development Inc. is a real estate development company that co-designs and develops communities around high performing public schools.
Lead brand strategy
Position Maslow as a thought leader
Deliver identity + design assets
Maslow's team reached out, asking to develop a brand identity reflecting their company's unique mission and holistic approach to community building.
In order to start the strategy process, I first created a design brief, to better understand the client and their target audience. Then, I researched the industry's ecosystem. Who are the other "Maslow" companies? What are other non profits doing in that field? What imagery, color palette and type are they using? Once we know what the ecosystem looks like, what design elements are used; we can assess how to stand out.
Looking at existing Maslow logos, there is a pattern of reference to the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Although Maslow Development Inc. was named with that concept in mind, we can take a different approach. Looking at the brand's eco-system, real estate development companies predominantly use traditional fonts & the color green in their identities. Keeping that in mind, we can incorporate a modern font and brighter color palette to set the brand apart, with a soft accent to add energy and memorability.
The next step is to define Maslow's persona. If Maslow was a human, what kind of characteristics would define them? Maslow is creating communities that meet individuals holistic needs, combine health care, housing, workforce development and education. Their new brand voice need to reflect their innovative & knowledgable approach and plan to change & support the way communities operate.
Finding the right key words to describe Maslow's mission allowed me to create three mood boards based on three archetypes: the teacher, the artist and the philantropist. Three different type of imagery, color palette, font and overall brand personality.
Persona 1: Teacher
The teacher, knowledgable, uses thorough analysis to reach their audience. This persona acts as a ressource, a reflection of Maslow's position as thought leader in its industry. Colors associated with this persona must communicate trust, understanding and clarity.
Persona 2: Artist
The artist, a creative go-getter, uses an innovative approach to reach their audience. This persona carries a visionary vision, reflecting Maslow's unique personality in its ecosystem. Colors associated with this persona must be eye-catching to convey energy and innovation.
Persona 3: Philantropist
The philanthropist, with strong compassion, creates positive social value to reach their audience. By creating holistic communities, Maslow contributes to a harmonious society. Colors associated with this persona must communicate determination, focus and empathy.
To differentiate Maslow from its competitors and position its brand, we decided to go with the artist persona - a creative rebel pushing for a message of social change through engagement and interaction. In their industry's eco-system, growing an innovative and colorful personality allows Maslow to set their unique tone, stand out in the crowd and push their positive message across.
Following this process, Brandon and I worked together to create design assets, aligning with their new brand identity. This includes logo, typography, color palette, stationery & web assets as well as a brand guideline book.