Real Estate Branding Gets an Encore

Real Estate Branding Gets an Encore

In order to receive an encore, you need a first act. Ours began in 2013 when developer Balke Brown Transwestern asked Atomicdust for help branding a new residential development concept.

At the time, Cortona was just a name, a set of blueprints and renderings of the interior and exterior designs. The development was designed as a premium experience full of amenities unlike St. Louis had ever seen.

We created a modern brand identity for Cortona at Forest Park and designed accompanying marketing materials, including an award-winning website. And it all worked – before construction was even complete, Cortona was 95% leased.

Cortona Branding

With Cortona, we were able to do work that made us proud and delivered great results for our clients. High fives all around.

Branding That Deserves an Encore

In the summer of 2017, we got another call from the Balke Brown team (which we were in the process of rebranding as 2B Residential) – “Let’s do it again.”

I’m oversimplifying a bit, but they shared with us that there were plans for a second development in the works, right next to Cortona.

The concept was similar to Cortona – an amenity-rich, lifestyle-focused residential property. But this one would elevate the experience, offering higher-end, premium finishes and details.

They wanted to recreate the Cortona success. So much in fact, that they named the property Encore.

Early pattern inspiration for the brand. Credit: Schon Magazine, 2015

Building the Visual Identity

Encore at Forest Park was to be a sister brand to Cortona. We knew that it had to be visually complimentary, but also completely distinct. This brand and residential experience was to be far from cookie cutter, with a focus on artistic expression and stylish details.

We began by revisiting the square logo mark for Cortona, simplifying it and looking for new opportunities.

Encore-real-estate-logo-concept Encore-real-estate-logo

We created a unique letter form with the “E” in the name, and used that as the base of the logo. As we did with Cortona, we wanted to reflect the square shape of the Encore building itself. The active, expressive nature at the core of the Encore experience also shows up in the logo – at the center, of course.

Crafting the Brand Messaging

Encore is a high-end experience. It’s expressive, artistic, and customized for its residents. The brand narrative captures this spirit best:

When you can live anywhere, you want to get everything right.

The right location, close to the people and places you love.

The right vibe, to fit your lifestyle.

And the right amenities, so you always feel at home.

Every detail, covered. 

That’s what Encore at Forest Park is all about.

Your retreat in the middle of everything, where you can live the way you want.

We adopted the tagline of “Live Your Way” as a platform to speak about the brand. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that Encore exists to help residents live the life they’ve always wanted.

Designing Expressive Brand Elements


This idea of personal goals and satisfaction provided inspiration for key visual elements throughout the brand. Hand-painted brush strokes show that the experience at Encore is full of energy, art and personal touches. We also provided 2B Residential’s internal team with everything they’d need to develop their own marketing collateral.


Building a Website to Attract New Residents

These elements became the building blocks of Encore’s website – which, like the brand, shares similar structure and functionality with Cortona, but also stands on its own.

Since real estate development is often a fast-moving, ever-evolving business, we built the site on WordPress so the 2B Residential team could easily update it on their own. That meant as details about amenities evolved during construction, prospective residents would always have the latest information.


Of course, the website is also responsive – so it’s a beautiful showcase for the property on any screen size.

Taking a Bow

Encore-Real Estate-Branding-Magazine

We were thrilled to be invited back to help 2B Residential a second time, and help shape this unique brand.

The 2B Residential team has done a fantastic (and award-worthy) job at creating unique residential experiences in St. Louis, and we have a feeling the applause will continue with the addition of Encore.

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Mike Spakowski

Mike Spakowski

Mike Spakowski is Principal / Creative Director of Atomicdust and is involved with the day-to-day design strategy, art direction and studio management.

More posts by Mike Spakowski