COLLINS Redesigns Downtown San Francisco Neighborhood

COLLINS Redesigns Downtown San Francisco Neighborhood

COLLINS was asked by Greater Rincon Hill CBD (Community Benefit District), now The East Cut CBD, to create a new, strong and unified neighborhood out of three separate (and confusing) boundaries in San Francisco. The result is now The East Cut, a newly-formed downtown locality, which is now officially listed on Google Maps. Consisting of the Transbay, Folsom and Rincon Hill districts, The East Cut now unifies these disparate areas into one modern metropolitan community.

Consisting of the newest and largest building in the city, The East Cut bridges the juxtaposition of an emerging, contemporary urban area with one of the oldest, most historically rich parts of San Francisco. The neighborhood's new name references the Second Street Cut made through Rincon Hill in 1869. That decision originally resulted in this area becoming a distinct, separated part of the city. The new name, symbol and identity program developed by COLLINS now signals both the place it occupies, as well as its reinvention.

The goal was to develop a name and visual identity for a neighborhood in downtown San Francisco that has a rich history, but was long overlooked. With an emphasis on modern, urban living, the neighborhood features San Francisco's tallest building, its first centralized rapid transit center, numerous green spaces and mixed residential buildings. With a vibrant community heavily involved at each step, this part of town has been imagined as the city's first true live/work neighborhood. Its transformation-and accompanying identity-needed to represent a headlong charge into the future.

COLLINS sought to capture the area's cosmopolitan, bold sensibility, while giving a nod to its vital past. The name, The East Cut, references the Second Street Cut, a late 19th-century urban development project that marked the last significant change seen in the neighborhood. The identity speaks to the many layers of life found in a distinctly urban neighborhood. The logo uses the three districts of the neighborhood to create a bold E, creating a highly graphic treatment that highlights and celebrates the area's unique features, from the bridge to the bay, through video, photography, illustration and color.

The surrounding identity system was designed to be dynamic, but also distinctive in its simplicity. The palette was created to stand out and fit in, which was accomplished by combining architectural tones with the bright evocative hues that stand out in an urban space.

Together this gives the neighborhood a unifying voice, one that is unequivocally its own in San Francisco. The new name, symbol and identity program now signals both the place it occupies, as well as its reinvention.


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