The 78

Branding for Chicago’s new neighbourhood

Related Midwest want to do great things for Chicago. We’re working with them to create a neighbourhood, in a place where none existed, in a city where neighbourhoods are everything. Introducing The 78.

Such a huge opportunity also delivers an immense responsibility; to create a successful, vibrant place that enhances and transforms Chicago and makes Chicagoans proud. Wordsearch Place helped Related Midwest define their vision and ambition for the site and begin to communicate the city-changing work they have made their commitment.

Strategy – building consensus and developing vision

We began by facilitating a series of immersive workshops with the development team and stakeholders that brought speakers together to share their research on the future of cities, learning, shopping, working and community. These workshops were the key to unlocking insight and creating a vision that is unique to Chicago and to this site; a vision which sees people drawn to the area by a dynamic mix of public experiences and a riverwalk which will engage one of Chicago’s greatest natural assets with year round recreation, dining and culture.

The learnings we unlocked from the workshops led us to design a powerful illustrated manifesto which expresses the vision for The 78 and sets in stone the project’s guiding principles, to ensure consistency across the 20 year development period.

Design – Brand identity

The next vital step was an identity, a logo alone wouldn’t be able to symbolise this transformative project. We needed an identity which would represent the truth that The 78, the first new neighbourhood in a city of neighbourhoods, will mean different things to different people. So we designed 78 eclectic 78ʼs, celebrating diversity, inclusivity, fun, bravery and pride, derived from the numerals found in Chicago neighbourhoods, from a shop window, a house number, a record sleeve or the back of a basketball strip.

Read more about our thinking /

The 78 is the project that everyone wants to work on, and it’s because of the process we went through with you. We never would be able to speak about the project in the way we do, without that process.


Related MidWest, Head of Marketing