Rebranding New York's Most Historic Market

My relationship with the Essex Street Market began in 2015 when I started working the Lower East Side Partnership (BID). The organization was entering into an MOU with NYCEDC with a focus on promotions and programming. A large focus of the partnership was to take their existing brand standards and create a diverse package of collateral–from refreshed and friendly facility wayfinding to a collection of sub-brands for recurring events. The process, while messy at times gave me an understanding of the shopping community and how they interact (or didn’t) with design.

[History Display]

With a few years of experience and having created a handful of brand packages for vendors in the market space, focus shifted to revitalizing the voice for its move into Essex Crossing. The market move from 120 to 88 Essex was a city-sponsored development project that promised a unique opportunity to the vendors who were much deserving of a space that was retrofitted for modern small businesses. 

NYCEDC began the process with Tobias Frere-Jones who created the ESSEX MARKET typeface as inspired by the signage from one of the original market buildings. After the first piece of the puzzle was on the table, myself and the team at LESP revisited the history of the market and our work with vendors and the shopping community.

Years working in the facility and more recent community visioning sessions, I came to understand that Essex Street Market was known as “Essex Market” and even to long-time locals just as “the market.”

As a trained designer I knew the (focus) was more about tone and accessibility. Readability in English, Spanish, and Chinese are of key importance.

Appealing to a new consumer while recognizable to the returning customer.
Focus on programming
Focus on community

Nina LoSchiavoComment