Branding and Website for Cortona: Celebrate Life at the Center
Across the highway from Forest Park in St. Louis, a new kind of apartment complex is taking shape. Called Cortona at Forest Park, the complex is built around broad, open social spaces, including a central courtyard with a clubhouse and a trilevel pool.
In May, real estate developer Balke Brown Transwestern enlisted the help of the Atomicdust branding and website development programs, giving our creative team a clear challenge: introduce young professionals to the excitement of the city’s newest place to live, and distance the Cortona project from luxury complex clichés.
While we were building the brand, Cortona’s contractors were just breaking ground. Though the complex was under construction throughout our process, we knew from blueprints and renderings that Cortona was designed to draw residents out of their apartments and into dynamic public spaces.
We developed a visual identity and positioning strategy for the brand that speak not only to Cortona’s literal, central location, but to its aspirations as well: to build community, and to put residents in the middle of everything, including nightlife, recreation and entertainment. The tagline “Be at the center” and the new logo reflect this ambition, as well as Cortona’s literal shape. Variations within the logo family use rough, fashion-inspired patterns and bold, energetic colors to appeal to the young professional demographic.
The website reinforces the modern Cortona look and personality, with clean navigation, large images and sleek animations. Each page of the website defines what life at the center looks like, and how visitors can experience it for themselves. Structured calls to action draw people in and invite them to explore the complex in person.
We also took Cortona through our social media and content strategy program, envisioning the brand as a popular, confident friend who knows the best places to eat, drink and play in St. Louis. Through Facebook, embedded Twitter and Instagram accounts and a colorful, oversized calendar on the website, Cortona connects current and prospective residents with the best of St. Louis: happy hours, parties, film festivals, restaurants and more. The Cortona blog will offer recipes, advice for entertaining guests, design tips, fitness trends and the scoop on nearby neighborhoods.
The best thing we can hear at the end of a branding presentation is that we’ve exceeded our clients’ expectations by making them think differently about their own product. We were happy to hear that this was the case for the Balke Brown team, and we look forward to watching the Cortona community grow.