Each of Seattle’s 100+ neighborhoods has a history and culture distinct from those around it, and the resulting patchwork has resulted in Seattle growing at an unprecedented rate. This growth has also come with the tensions of a growing urban environment trying to meet the needs of the several communities and businesses which call Seattle home. South Lake Union is one of the neighborhoods at the center of the tension between those who’ve lived in the neighborhood for decades and the forces of corporate development and gentrification. This tension would not exist without a rich history of residence, industry, and technological advancement.

Identity System

My research into the historical and contemporary neighborhood, I was able to distill three distinctive symbols of the neighborhood:

  • The Waters of Lake Union: the indigenous Duwamish people had scattered settlements on the shores of Lake Union, from where SLU derives its name.
  • The Neighborhood’s Rich Aviation History: Boeing called Lake Union its home when the company was founded.
  • The Skyline: represents the growing and modern nature of the neighborhood.

I tried to capture these things in several logo drafts.

Imagery & Color

The brand system for the neighborhood had to simultaneously express the society of the present and the richness of the past. Since this richness has always centered around aviation, the seaplane is a central figure in the identity. I wanted to evoke the optimism and prosperity of the neighborhood through the vibrant color palette.


I chose to use VAG Rundschrift—Volkswagen’s eponymous in-house typeface developed in the 1970’s—as the primary face, and Freight Macro Pro as the secondary face. Vibrant colors meld to create a bright personality. Other typefaces I tried were Roboto and Rockwell.


The milestones for this project were:

  • Logotype, Colors, and Typography
  • Poster, Billboard, and Website Mockups
  • Examples of Other Ephemera