1945 Hyde Street: Designing a brand for a historic San Francisco building with a new lease of life

When a beautiful 1920s building in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighbourhood was converted into luxury apartments, local design company Adrienne Eberhardt Creative was tasked with designing a brand that captured both the old and the new.

Originally a mechanic’s garage, 1945 Hyde Street was rich with life and visual detail to work from. The iconic cover of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road was shot on the site, and the historic neighbourhood was home to the author among other prominent figures from the past. During the construction process workers (quite literally) dug up some fascinating artefacts from the building’s previous incarnations, all of which contributed ideas to work into the brand design.

The architects worked the original period details into the building’s new and modern vision and AEC also wanted to capture this stylish and contemporary side too. Creative Director Adrienne Eberhardt described the process as “devising ways to honour both the old and new within the presentation" and "showing the investors that they weren’t just buying a home, but a piece of history. The design process was very organic, the building provided everything we needed.”

For the final brand design, the colour palette was drawn from the patina of the walls, the paper (French Construction) was chosen to amplify the textural surfaces of the building, and the logo came from the angle in which the building anchors itself to Hyde Street (20% incline). As a final flourish AEC also designed a timeline to show the rich, artistic and intellectual legacy of the Russian Hill neighbourhood, acknowledging the past and nodding towards the future.