Large scale natural disasters are so all encompassing, they can come to define a place. How can a city move beyond the reputation of disaster victim to an identity grounded in prosperity? Consider the case of New Orleans. Ravaged by hurricane Katrina, the city suffered an exodus. But after a lot of hard work, the Downtown is open for business and ready for prosperity. What Katrina destroyed is being replaced with some of the world’s best facilities. Despite that, the national conversation about New Orleans is still focused on Mardi Gras and recovery. Seeking to attract Industries of the Mind, the Downtown Development District (DDD) needed to change the collective subject, focusing instead on progress, innovation, opportunity and success.
Most defining cities have been established and there is little an individual can do to impact them. Not so with New Orleans, where the environment is ripe for creative people looking to define this city’s rebirth. According to North Star CEO Don McEachern, “The city provides an environment of freedom and collaboration where people can design their own preferred future and lifestyle while contributing to the renaissance and rebirth of one of the world’s most authentic cities. The relationship this city has with her creative class is so passionate, mysterious and fiery; she literally is a Modern Muse for Industries of the Mind. New Orleans may not be for everyone, but when the chemistry is right between this city and those she inspires . . . well, anything is possible.”
Creativity focused on the idea of the city being both a muse and a blank canvas, inviting innovators to “raise your own bar.” Complementary logos were developed for the DDD and Downtown New Orleans using a fresh, modern color palette that does not rely on stereotypical New Orleans’ colors. The DDD logo was designed with an almost three-dimensional effect. The Downtown logo is available in horizontal and vertical orientations and uses a simple, bold, contemporary style designed to make a big impact in large and small spaces. Ads feature New Orleans entrepreneurs positioned in front of larger-than-life canvases that speak their mind about the city. Brand narrative sparks a connection between this city of sharp contrasts and the people who might make it their own.