Colfax Ave Business Improvement District
2022 Denver Mayor’s Design Award, Active Spaces category
2022 Creative Communications Awards, Best of Best in Signage; Functional Typography
2021 International Design Awards, Wayfinding & Environmental Graphics, Silver
2018 Graphis Branding 7, Silver Award
2018 HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards, Award of Merit
2017 GDUSA American Graphic Design Award
Colfax Avenue is by far Denver’s most recognizable, iconic and even infamous street. Once called “the wickedest street in America” by Playboy Magazine, the longest street in the United States has developed an established reputation, for better or for worse. In an effort to revitalize Colfax’s most identifiable section of the street (the 24 block area stretching from the Colorado State Capitol to East High School) the Colfax Ave Business Improvement District tasked ArtHouse with re-inventing the Colfax brand and revitalizing the streetscape to be more friendly and welcoming to pedestrians. Through extensive stakeholder coordination, brand positioning and narrative exploration, the ArtHouse team developed an identity as iconic as Colfax itself.
A key goal in the rebranding process was to balance Colfax’s history, legacy, imagery and the familiarity many Denverites have with one of the city’s most divey neighborhoods, with the progressive, vibrant vision for its future. Out of this challenge, ArtHouse developed a package of logos, icons, colors and patterns that evoke the neon signs for which Colfax is known, in a fresh, contemporary, design forward way. The logo takes on a varied color palette, inspired by the sunrise and sunset (both of which can be seen down the length of Colfax), which lets visitors, residents and businesses express themselves with the Colfax identity that best represents them. This individuality is key to the brand narrative invoking the people that make Colfax unique.
Through the design of brand collateral such as stickers, business cards, stationery, branded merchandise and pole-mounted banners ArtHouse has infused Colfax Ave with new life, catching the attention of citywide stakeholders and allowing it to compete with some of the most popular neighborhoods for development and growth. In addition to the comprehensive rebrand, ArtHouse has designed a 7 foot-tall, bright pink sculpture, a new website for the Colfax Ave Business Improvement District and an upcoming signage and wayfinding program to further the revitalized pedestrian experience in conjunction with an anticipated streetscaping master plan and other public works improvements.