Crafting the CFSTL brand

April 1, 2019

When we set out to create a brand for City Foundry STL (CFSTL) we drew inspiration from our location in the heart of Midtown St. Louis’ innovation district as well as the industrial history of our own site.

We played with a lot of ideas, but when it came down to it, we wanted to communicate 1) our love of St. Louis 2) that we’re a force for creative and innovative thinking and finally 3) be a reflection of the community we live in (an innovative and creative place to say the least!).

So where to start with our visuals? While we wanted to respect our heritage, we wanted the CFSTL brand to more about the future than the past. We want to be about what’s next, not what’s happened.

Here’s where we started thinking about mixing new with old. Our logo certainly pays homage to our industrial roots. We tried a few things here, but ultimately showcasing the iconic butterfly roof of the historic foundry building in the logo felt right. The roof’s beautiful geometry and volume of space distinguishes CFSTL from any place in St. Louis and we wanted to ensure it was front and center.

So how do we mix in the new? As we walked through the foundry building during an early visit, we noticed lots of “safety yellow”. The color appeared in almost every room. It felt like the building was telling us what our primary brand color should be. While “safety yellow” is a great color to communicate “caution”, we decided on a fresh, easier on the eyes yellow for CFSTL (we call it “CFSTL Gold”).

We also noticed yellow and black “caution stripes” painted on various surfaces. Inspired, we incorporated geometric patterns and lines into our visual language to give our brand a bold, modern punch. A lot of hard worked happened, is happening and will happen at CFSTL. Getting your hands dirty can be a gritty process, but that’s how doers and makers get stuff done and innovate. Staying true to who we are, you might notice a touch of “grit” & imperfection in our visuals every once and a while.

Lastly, we created some badge logos that we use every once in a while to give the brand more interest and that look cool on t-shirts and bags, or maybe even painted on a floor or wall as part of a mural.

We needed to share all of this information with local creatives and other vendors who might produce work for us, so we packaged our thoughts up into a nice booklet for distribution, and there you have it, how the CFSTL brand was born!