Pentagram has designed a new identity for the Flatiron NoMad Partnership, formerly known as the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, the business improvement district (BID) located just south of Midtown Manhattan. The rebrand coincides with an expansion that doubled the BID’s footprint to include the entire NoMad neighborhood — the area roughly north of Madison Square Park, hence its name — and to extend to 20th Street and Sixth Avenue.
The new identity and strategy (developed in collaboration with LaPlaca Cohen) help position and reintroduce the existing and expanded BID as one unified and unparalleled destination. The new name reflects the emergence of NoMad as its own community within the district.
The challenge for the designers was visualizing the merger between the two neighborhoods while also expressing the idea that the district is perhaps the most quintessentially “New York” of any in the city. The vibrant and historic area is a dynamic center of activity, bringing together old and new; uptown and downtown, residential and commercial, culture and education; iconic urbanism (in the form of the Flatiron Building) and beautiful open space (Madison Square Park); and a crossroads for the surrounding neighborhoods of Chelsea, Union Square, Midtown, Gramercy and Rose Hill. Pentagram has been located in this neighborhood since the firm opened its New York office in 1979: first at 204 Fifth Avenue, then a few doors down at 212 Fifth, and currently at 250 Park Avenue South, at the expanded district’s southernmost border.
This idea is captured in the BID’s new tagline, “Where New York meets New York,” and carries through to the graphic language built around connection. The logo links “Flatiron” and “NoMad” with a diagonal (like Broadway), and extends into the vertical ligatures between words and other brand expressions, as well as more circuitous routes that suggest wandering around the neighborhood. The diagonal lines build on the asterisk-like logo Pentagram originally designed for the BID when it was formed in 2006.