Nineteen bespoke townhomes adjacent to the prestigious De La Salle College in Toronto’s coveted Summerhill neighbourhood called for a subtly swank brand. Upscale? Certainly. Snooty? A little. Expensive? Yes. The brand had to tick all the boxes of luxury and grandeur and communicate the collection’s auspicious allure to an undeniably wealthy target market.
Associating with the historical and fashionable appeal of the neighbouring De La Salle College, our research determined that creating a strong connection between the school and our homes would organically escalate the new brand by association. Naming was key to creating this vital connection.
We studied the history and determined that our brand would emerge from the dusty tombs.
Armand-François-Marie de Charbonnel was the Bishop of Toronto between 1847 and 1860. Among his many accomplishments, Bishop Charbonnel is credited with the founding of several important institutions including De La Salle College. In honouring his deep commitment to improving the lives of Canadians, we distinguished our new community with his name.
Hence we selected the name Charbonnel, pairing it with “Bespoke Townhomes in Summerhill.”
The name and brand were designed to respect the past and laud the future. While the homes themselves are decidedly modern, their heritage is deeply rooted in the City’s history.
Designed to reflect the historical connection, the wordmark and accompanying logo graphic are simple and clean; we’ve used a traditional serif font and positioned it with a graphic that is almost utilitarian in its modest aesthetic. Together, the more traditional wordmark and the modern logo graphic tell a story of modern design that deeply respects the past.
Integral to the creation of the Charbonnel brand was the production of a video to set the mood and ambiance of the project. The video encapsulates the upscale finishes, the absolutely drop-dead quality of the architecture and the interior appointments. It takes the viewer through a visual tour de force that impresses and dazzles in a highly stylized esoteric format that alights on dramatic close-ups and leaves the viewer with goose bumps. (As an aside, the video was shortlisted for the prestigious international CG Architect award in Unreal Studio Experience (Film) in 2018.)
The Charbonnel brand was applied to site signage and a coffee-table style brochure. The brochure tells an urban love story that takes the reader on a photographic journey from inception to neighbourhood to the grand homes themselves. Cloth covered and hard bound, the brochure reflects the stature of the Charbonnel community and contributes to its upscale mien.
We also created a website that articulates the unique features of Charbonnel through descriptive language and compelling visuals. The website was awarded honourable mention by awwwards.com, in their prestigious annual review of leading websites.