Chen Design Associates for Soma Grand 

Principal: Joshua C. Chen

Other clients: Joie de Vivre Hospitality, TMG Partners, AGI Capital, Pacific Marketing Associates, The North Face, Pottery Barn, Timbuk2, Barclays Global Investors, Chronicle Books, Stanford Lively Arts, SFMOMA, Urban Outfitters

Creative team: Joshua C. Chen, principal and creative director; Laurie Carrigan, design director and project manager; Max Spector, senior designer; Jennifer Tolo Pierce, senior designer

Kathrin Blatter, designer; Carol Miller, copywriter

Strategy: To distinguish Soma Grand from similar-looking real estate developments sprouting up all over San Francisco, we focused on the core brand essence of life, style and service and developed a visual vocabulary that elevates this development from the crowd. We told the Soma Grand story in very clear and quickly digestible ways, with visuals that connected emotionally with the core target audience of first-adopters and first-time buyers. The unique combination of sophisticated yet affordable urban living and hotel-quality service, in the heart of The City’s arts, entertainment and shopping districts, is communicated in visually enticing and compelling ways across all campaign elements.

Scope of work: Visual branding development, art direction, design, writing, implementation and project management of all print collateral (brochure, direct-mail components, identity system), sales center visuals and print advertising.

Josh Chen

Age: 40

Background: BA in Broadcast Communication Arts, San Francisco State University

What drove your development of the concept:

» Appeal to the taste and sensibility of a young, sophisticated target audience, one that works hard, plays hard and lives hard.

» Give visual life to the pampering services from Joie de Vivre by producing high-quality pieces with no details left to chance.

» Taking the urban feel of the neighborhood, unique offerings of Soma Grand and making it all come to life.

» Inspiration drawn from the materials used in the design of Soma Grand, including architectural details, textures and artwork.

Working on next: Major packaging redesign for an international retail brand.

About The Author

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