Something Different is Coming
That’s the notion we started with when kicking-off our branding and strategy work with the dynamic Shipon brothers in Philadelphia’s northern neighborhood of Germantown. Outside of their usual South Philly stomping grounds, we asked the brothers what it was that makes this development special.
Matt and Seth Shipon are two of the most jovial and engaging real estate developers we’ve ever met. And maybe that’s because they don’t tout themselves as typical developers – They’re not a national-scale REIT with hundreds of properties and products crafted with formulaic approaches to programming and metrics.
Instead, they’ve built an entrepreneurial approach to bringing together retail, food, community, and real estate development entirely rooted in the legacy of their family’s local pride and impact on Philadelphia over the past 100 years. It's all culminating in their latest development, The Braid Mill.
To put it briefly: They take their work personally.
And this property is special to them because it’s an extension of their entrepreneurial business, Hatched Real Estate – a new headquarters for themselves and their real estate business – and starting the development of their first larger-scale office and commercial space, against the backdrop of a global pandemic, things got personal.
Our task: craft a brand and a narrative to help the brothers position and lease a space during a time when the future of work was so uncertain.
That meant looking at timeless design trends, historic narratives of the space, and creative positioning for a raw building that had so much potential. In the historic foundation of Braid Mill, they saw the potential from the start, so we had to meet them with an equally strong brand vision.
Feel At Home, At Work
With the blurring of the lines between work and home, Braid Mill is reimagining the work environment with all the benefits of the home. Thoughtfully redeveloped, the historic textile factory in East Germantown has 35,000 sq ft of creative office and light industrial space available for lease.
We approached the creation of the brand with this common goal - to reimagine the workplace. It resonated throughout the brand, and drove the brothers' entire approach to development of the building.
Supporting and empowering startups
Known originally as the Excelsior Textile Factory, 441 High Street in Germantown has everything you could ask for in a physical shell. Outfit with expansive windows, ceilings, multiple loading bays, and beautiful columns, the historic textile factory filled the building more than 150 years ago, creating lasting roots for production in the city.
Today, the brothers have adapted it for the future maker – a gathering place for designers, creators, and producers. The versatile space opens its doors to the entrepreneurs exploring design, media, food, and health – empowered by the layout, open spaces, and opportunity to craft their own future.
A Common Visual Thread
But it was the history of fabrics, fibers, connectivity, and threads that kept inspiring us visually as we crafted the brand identity. Drawing from the natural flow of threads and spools, our creative team was able to construct a logo that is both literally symbolic of a thread, while also subtly representative of the “B” and “M” in Braid Mill. An icon and wordmark pair together to form the primary identity, with plenty of flexibility in between on bringing them to life visually. The design resonated, resulting in an Award winning branding system and thoroughly imagined physical space.
The Braid Mill is seeking artisans and people pivoting to bring back manufacturing and work that is identifiable and different. Creatives specializing in wood, metal, and textile work that echoes the past history of this factory. Offices that merge seamlessly with the comforts of home, and expansive common and outdoor areas help to realize that vision.