Fly Home

In a relaxed corner of Elm City, an old World War II fighter plane propeller factory finds a new kind of glory.

A NEGLECTED WAREHOUSE…

In 2015, Post Road Residential decided to turn a beat-up old warehouse in East Rock, a charming neighborhood in New Haven, into a design-driven apartment community. Looking for a distinctive brand to attract tenants in a competitive market, Post Road tasked us with crafting a compelling story.

…WITH A PATRIOTIC PAST

First, we needed to learn more about the building’s past. Since it was first constructed, the site has been home to makers of everything from corsets and oak barrels to cigars and locks. Our interest was piqued when we found out that it was a manufacturing facility that built airplane propellers for the F4U Corsair—a remarkable WWII-era fighter plane with folding wings and a massive, roaring engine.

IVY LEAGUE GOES BLUE COLLAR

We knew our audience would draw heavily from the grad student population at nearby Yale University. But what do airplane propellers have to do with Ivy League scholars? We realized that this building couldn’t just represent the American war effort—it had to represent generations of hard work and sweat. And that’s something Yale students might know a thing or two about.

THE TRUTH

MADE BY HAND, RIGHT HERE

Taking cues from heritage and workwear brands like Redwing and Levi’s, we created a brand identity system that celebrates over a hundred years of American craftsmanship. We designed a throwback newsprint brochure and hand-sketched logos for the building’s many former companies. We called the resident lounge the “Quittin’ Time Bar” and designed custom airplane propeller door handles and retro bottle openers. We even dug up an old quote from the Corsair’s chief engineer, which perfectly summed up our vision: “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible will take a week, ten days at most.”

RECOGNITION

Hatch Awards 2015
Silver

“Almost half the leases have been done over the internet—these folks haven’t visited the community but are willing to live there. People must be loving the website, and feel comfortable that it tells them what they need to know about the community. That is a tribute to the excellent product you gave us.”
—Andy Montelli, President & CEO, Post Road Residential