REA Director of Design Irasema Rivera called her very first project at REA “a progressive challenge” — in the most positive of terms. The World Financial Center’s design process — from the initial look and feel to the printed piece — took the creative team about 2 months to complete. Under Rivera’s guidance, they created a vision that would highlight the three major qualities of this new development: the high-end retail, excellent accessibility, and regrowth of this post 9/11 neighborhood.
Irasema: The retail was envisioned to be high-end, a completely new retail experience for the consumer, different from how they may be experiencing it today. So we went for a look that would bring in that sense of fashionable, luxurious retail throughout the design. The second piece was the accessibility–that the WFC would be extremely easy to get to due to the addition of the West Street entrance, as well as the new Fulton Street Transit hub.
Last but not least, there was the neighborhood–an area that was blooming again in the decade following 9/11. A project like WFC was proof that businesses as well as residents were committed to bringing the neighborhood back, and expanding upon it. So we focused on images and phrases that would really highlight what the WFC had to offer throughout the day and also at night… from beautiful scenery and a great neighborhood for business, to the dazzling nightlife of clubs and restaurants.
The inspiration for the logo came, in part, from the idea that the WFC was painting a new vision for itself — one that included a curated, considered experience — similar to something one would experience in an art gallery. Since the World Financial Center is near the water, I thought that the brush strokes of a water color painting would work for the logo. I did an initial set of drawings on tracing paper using a wide marker. After about the third one, I knew we had it … but we did another 20-30 just to be certain. Once selected, we scanned the drawing and then converted it to vector outline artwork in Illustrator.