A revitalized green district for San Antonio to work, play, and come together.
Hemisfair enlisted Heavy Heavy to develop a new visual identity, website, and core messaging to fit the new mission of the three-part, green district for locals in the heart of downtown. The destination of the 1968 World’s Fair is undergoing a complete renovation to transform the park from a popular tourist destination into an urban district for everyone to enjoy. The new Hemisfair nods to its past while bringing San Antonio into a new era of downtown revitalization.
Prior to working with Heavy Heavy, the original Hemisfair ‘68 mark was redesigned to modernize its look and feel and included San Antonio’s popular landmark, the Tower of the Americas. This interim identity still failed to communicate Hemisfair’s goals for becoming the epicenter of downtown activity for everyone in San Antonio. The identity needed to work as an overarching symbol for the new development of Hemisfair.
We worked closely with the Hemisfair Conservancy, and various city officials to develop an extensive identity system to meet their goals. Culture, history, community, and sustainability all intersect in the physical space of the park. Heavy Heavy took special care to develop visual assets that help to communicate these concepts on multiple levels.
We started with simple geometric shapes to give subtle references to the original ‘68 mark. We opted against including any obvious landmark references to enforce the shift from tourist park to local-centric district. The “H” is leveraged as the centerpiece to be future proof and communicative in a wide range of sizes and applications. The color palette we developed incorporates San Antonio’s obvious and longstanding hispanic heritage while not being cliché. We desaturated it to give it a more mature feel and appeal to the young professionals Hemisfair wants to attract.
The task of rebranding Hemisfair was monumental. We had to balance reverence for the history of the district with embodying our goal of contemporary urban development. We chose to work with Heavy Heavy because they brought an attention to these sensitivities, over and above their talent and skill.
For typography, our goal was to find something that worked well with the expected use and media. We wanted typography that played well with the H, toned down the modern curves, wasn’t too mechanical, yet still offered elegant letterforms. After testing through typefaces that were suited for way finding and signage, as well as digital and print media, we chose a typeface called Alright Sans for use throughout the visual identity. It’s a deep family with plenty of styles and weights to serve all the varied needs of Hemisfair as they arise. It is a true workhorse face; it’s well suited for print, digital, and dimensional signage produced in many ways.
Hemisfair needed an extensive content overhaul to communicate the new vision of the district in a concise, user-friendly, and engaging way. After evaluating every page of the existing website for user experience, we presented the board with detailed content direction to meet their goals.
Hemisfair had two core objectives for their new messaging — communicating the new brand position and providing clear information on park attractions and wayfinding. The content spoke to the primary audience of San Antonio locals and its secondary audience of those visiting the downtown area. We needed to make sure that we eased the community’s emotional attachment to Hemisfair by creating content that spoke to the history of the park, while creating excitement for its future.
The team at Heavy Heavy worked with us to achieve not simply a logo and a website, but a complete identity that gave us a voice, an image, and a way of communicating to the community.
Because it’s important to position Hemisfair as a community catalyst, we used compelling content that would inspire locals to choose activities downtown and create new memories with friends and loved ones. Highlighting Hemisfair’s activities, events, restaurants, and shops, was of the utmost importance. We presented information in an instinctively navigable hierarchy to minimize time searching for important park details.
The website needed to function as an easily navigable resource to find visitor information, activities, special events, and other important information about Hemisfair. We used the new mark and color palette dominantly on the website to set the tone for the brand as a possible first interaction for visitors.