New North Makerhood identity
Handmade quality items may seem like a thing of the past. However, the New North Makerhood is part of a great revival of craft in Omaha and beyond. A creative district for makers, artists, and craftspeople of all kinds, the neighborhood is located just north of TD Ameritrade Park in North Downtown Omaha. The area already includes thriving businesses like The Hot Shops, Bench, The Mastercraft, and Reclaimed Enterprises.
We were thrilled when Lyn Wallin Ziegenbein, an executive director at the Peter Kiewit Foundation, asked us to build an identity for the new non-profit collective. Designing a brand for an endeavor such as this can be much more challenging than an identity for a single entity. The visuals needed to represent a wide range of very different activities that will be taking place in the space.
Since makers are generally thought of as a thing of the past, our inspiration came from how makers, artists, and craftspeople historically branded themselves. We found that creatives have always used some sort of mark to represent their work in the same way that we use logos today. Since the space is a collective, we decided that the perfect solution would be to have a standardized logotype for the word “Makerhood” paired with a rotating maker’s mark that includes the words “New North”. We envisioned those options as infinite. When a new maker joins the building, a new mark can be added to the set that represents their craft. It’s an identity that can grow and change regularly, just like they do.
We designed business papers that have the same hand-crafted aesthetic as the logo, and build upon the “many parts to the whole” concept.
We also had the opportunity to design a mural for one of their buildings. Since they are brand new, we decided it would be smart to not only introduce the district in a fairly straightforward way, but also create a very large piece of signage that would help people easily identify their location. In the future, once the New North Makerhood is more established, we will hopefully get the chance to design additional murals that not only build on their brand, but are also inspiring pieces of art.
We’re in the process of creating a website for the New North Makerhood and look forward to sharing it as soon as we can!