Legend has it, Belva Lockwood rode around Capitol Hill on her tricycle with her signature black velvet dress draped to one side and a scandalous inch of ankle flashed toward the denizens of 1870 Washington, DC. Causing a stir was typical Belva, though you may not have heard much about her. About her tricycle, her law degree, or her Presidential campaigns of 1884 and 1888. She was one of a kind and she lends her name and ethos to this project. In the neighborhood she called home, The Lockwood is a new apartment residence like no other. Our integrated brand system needed to be more than just a slick real estate brand advertising amenities. We had to create a comprehensive and quirky tribute to an extraordinary woman that inspired a remarkable living space.
Our custom word mark drives the many parts of the system. Historical accuracy wasn’t important to us when crafting the typography. We sought to capture the feel of another era but with a flair and a style that is timeless. Real estate branding is a competitive space. Customers are discerning and tired of glossy brands that lack a deeper connection. Everyone involved wanted something different and original for The Lockwood. We brought in the illustrator Dan Funderburgh to create a custom Victorian toile pattern. At first glance, the images look historical. Belva on her bike. The Capitol Dome. But a closer look reveals a tote bag full of vegetables from nearby Eastern Market and popular parks for socializing and dog walking. The pattern and illustrations are both old and new. We used the pattern throughout the print collateral and merchandise. We also provided the bulk of the writing for this project including the tagline as well as a newspaper we dubbed The Belva Post Courier. This newspaper is used as a brochure for the residential amenities but also provides the prospective tenant with a history of Belva and the neighborhood as well as a custom map of nearby attractions. The back page features a broadsheet design that doubles as a poster and a train platform campaign ad. Our longtime collaborator Jason Varney provided photography of the finished space with art direction by us and prop styling by Kristi Hunter.
Conceived to honor Belva Lockwood’s signature spirit and style, the Lockwood is a unique project in the real estate space. The interiors were meticulously designed by Washington DC’s Edit Lab and they are meant to be an eclectic homage to Belva’s era. The drawing room, the conservatory, the gardening facilities, and the residences themselves all have impeccable style and details. Everything from the wallpaper patterns to the light fixtures, the English garden to the common spaces, reflects great care and respect. We were honored to work on it with such a great team of collaborators.
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